Sunday, July 22, 2012

Check for yourself

On the road north of Durango, Colorado there is a hot spring that bubbles out of the top of a pile of rocks right on the shoulder of highway 550. The minerals have formed a smooth rounded rock formation that is pretty cool.

A lot of tourists stop and take pictures of it, and some climb on it. As did I. And I discovered it isn't quite what it seems.

I had noticed that some of the rocks near the top seemed too angular to be the result of mineral deposition. Then when I climbed to the top I saw that the water was coming out of a metal pipe that poked out of the middle of the top rock.

I tasted the water, and it was warm, not hot, and tasted like soda. Not horrible, but I wouldn't be craving this water if I were thirsty.

I suppose the story is that there was a hot spring beside the road, and someone decided to make it more interesting by sinking a pipe and piling rocks so that the water could cascade down rather than just pool. And it worked well. Time has made it even better by growing a nice deposit of minerals that makes it look more natural and like something you might see at Yellowstone.

What got me was how many tourists stopped while I was there and, instead of checking out anything for themselves, stood there taking pictures and asking me about it. They asked how hot the water was. They asked what the water tasted like (when I mentioned tasting it). And I told them about the pipe. Not one then checked on what I had told them.

Where is the scientific method in these people? Is this why people just accept the lies that are told them about how necessary The State is? Am I that different in my willingness to check things out for myself rather than just asking some random guy standing around?