Thursday, May 14, 2009
Park Workers Pee In Old Faithful - Famous Geyser Responds
Two Yellowstone workers fired after peeing into famous geyser
May 14 2009 06:34PM CDT
Two seasonal Yellowstone National Park concession workers have been fired after a live webcam caught them urinating into the Old Faithful geyser.
Park spokesman Al Nash says a 23-year-old man on Tuesday was fined $750 and placed on three years of unsupervised probation for urinating, being off trail in a restricted area and taking items from the area. The man also was banned from Yellowstone for two years.
The second employee's case is pending.
The park's dispatch center was called after someone watching a webcam on the geyser saw six employees leaving the trail and walking up to Old Faithful on May 4.
The geyser was not erupting at the time.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts general manager Jim McCaleb says the former concession workers were hired at the Old Faithful Inn and that such incidents were rare.
"There really aren't a lot of people in America who want to urinate into the country's most famous geyser," said a dismayed McCaleb. "You really have to have a twisted mind to do that."
The geyser fought back, however, with a tremendous eruption only minutes after the workers had moved away, disgorging the offending urine in one of the strongest eruptions experienced in recent years, according to a local geologist who has studied the geyser's pattern of eruptions for more than 30 years.
When asked what he thought of the mammoth eruption only minutes after he had peed into the geyser's opening, one of the workers replied, "Holy shit." The other worker declined to comment on the grounds his own words would only echo those of his co-worker.
George Peabody, an unidentified spokesman for a local charismatic church near the park,that uses the water from Old Faithful in its religious ceremonies as a soul cleansing and purifying agent of God, said the church would have to rethink its epistemological principles in light of the discovery. "We can't have our congregants concerned about whether or not they are being baptized in urine. This is very demoralizing and already has led to a 28% decline in church membership. It's definitely hurting our bottom line. We have a building fund drive going on to build a new sanctuary and something like this could knowck the hell out of it."