Remember that time three men got banned from Yellowstone for cooking chickens in a geyser? Lego Park Ranger does!

Originally published at: Remember that time three men got banned from Yellowstone for cooking chickens in a geyser? Lego Park Ranger does! | Boing Boing


… for two years, anyway


Given the plethora of low cost and/or free web sites folks can use, I will never not be disappointed to find an interesting account that is using facebook/instagram instead, thus wedding their offerings to the grifting billionaire class when they could control their own destiny AND repost on those sites instead.


Doesn’t everyone? :rofl:

I have questions. Those gentlemen were radiating hiking wrongness, but it was their cooking pots that caused multiple reports to the ranger? Was there a fire ban in effect, and the pots obviously too big for camping stoves? Or is it so common for gentlemen to try geyser-vide cookery, that everyone in the park knows what hikers hauling large cookware means?


Large cooking pots usually mean cannibals. The Park Service was right to be concerned. :man_shrugging:


Umm… I’m think I’m missing something here.

I think cooking a pre-prepared chicken with maybe some sliced veg and a variety of herbs and spices in naturally ocurring boiling water sounds like a fantastic idea and is exactly the sort of activity I would engage in if I had a chicken, a geyser and the approriate herbs and spices.

However, I can tell by the context (and the way the gentlemen in question were reprimanded, obviously) that there is something unacceptable about it, but it’s not obvious to me what the thing is.

Were the chickens living happy lives as wild chickens in the park before being ehm… harvested?

Is it illegal to cook chickens in the park 'cos the delicous smell of boiled chicken with veg and herbs and spices attracts bears or moose?

Were the gentlemen refusing to share their delicious chicken and vegetable stew with the park rangers and the whole thing just got out of hand?

Is it that big oil have outlawed free geyser cooking?

I’m suddenly hungry…




It’s a safety and preservation thing. It’s against the rules to leave the boardwalks around the geysers. People have died doing that. There are also strict rules about putting crap into them because it contaminates the water.

ETA: the ground around many of the gysers is thin and brittle. Stepping on it can cause a person’s foot to sink thru into the boiling water below.


If you really want dinner in Yellowstone, there are a few options already.


You don’t “have a geyser” and neither did these tourists. Idiocy aside, it wasn’t their geyser to use this way.

Yellowstone National Park is home to many geysers which are protected as part of a shared natural and cultural landmark, and tourists are separated from those geysers for their own safety, the safety of the rangers who would ultimately have to rescue them if they came to harm, and the preservation of the national wonders themselves.

This is on par with trying to ride the bison. It’s a likely-fatal stunt for the idiots who try it, it’s not fair to the other visitors who came to respectfully commune with nature and it’s not good for the bison.


There are several reasons why you really, really shouldn’t mess with geysers.

The first is that, aside from Old Faithful, there is almost no telling when a geyser will go off, just a bit of a bubbly rumble then thousands of gallons of boiling hot water and steam propel themselves upwards far faster than you can run away.
Secondly, geysers are fragile – several have been effectively shut down by people throwing stuff in, disrupting the interaction of water and pressure so it no longer shoots off as frequently, or at all. Recently (2018) the “Big Ear” geyser in Yellowstone had its first big blowout in 60 years, the long silence believed to be caused by the ton of garbage that flew out of its flow.

Bears are of course attracted to food odors, so that’s also a big “No” for many areas of National Park Service land, but not so much because the chefs were in danger, but because if the bears start hanging out around a tourist area, they will have to be relocated, and if they return, or continue their association of people with food, they will have to be killed.

In addition, the park has nearly 4 million visitors a year. If they allow one group to do it, they may have to let everyone, which would require scheduling, supervision, cleanup and food safety budgeting, and all the things that they just don’t have the money for.

Besides, if you want to do that sort of thing, there are plenty of places where you can do it. While hiking in Haukadalur Valley, Iceland a few years ago, my guide let us catch fish in a local stream, then we walked them over to a hot spring (not a geyser) a few yards away where we cooked them. Delicious, though we had to cook them in special bags to keep the heavily mineralized water from ruining the taste and our fish from contaminating the spring. We had permits for everything, and we hiked out all our trash.


Hot springs frequently have all kinds of life forms in them.


And I thought thermophiles were the folks online who write super-involved reviews of thermostats!


I just picked up a copy for myself of Death In Yellowstone. which lists, among other things, people who have died as a result of immersion (accidental or deliberate) in a hot spring. Did you know that the term ‘hot-potting’ refers to using a Yellowstone hot spring for illegal jacuzzi-ing? Also, the reason that Morning Glory Spring is no longer its original vibrant blue is because the amount of crap people have tossed into it has restricted the water flow to the point of cooling, allowing thermophilic bacteria to tint it green and brown.

It seems there is nothing people can’t ruin with motivation and carelessness.


If you’re a fan of volcanic cooking, there’s a place called Owakudani, in the Hakone region west of Tokyo, where they boil eggs in the volcanic springs. The eggs come out with a black shell because of the sulphur in the water. You’re not allowed to cook your own picnic, though.


That’s actually the easiest bit here as there are only five of them in total.


Try Iceland

Or not


Also in the wonderful hot spring town of Beppu in Kyushu:

The onsen eggs are delish with a Kirin!


You know what’s NOT appetizing? Eating where it smells like hot farts all the time.

Also, rental car counter: “Yeah, I really don’t know why the paint is peeling.”


There’s the El Diablo restaurant on Lanzarote, in Canary Islands, where they cook the food with volcanic heat. I’ve eaten there, years ago, when on a holiday trip with my family, but I can’t remember if the food was good. The views were lovely, though!