Yesterday I went snorkeling. In Yellowstone.
Apparently this isn't a first. Some of the employees in Mammoth have done this a few times before. Myself and some folks who work at the Yellowstone Center for Resources and the Archives drove down towards the Old Faithful area where the Firehole River runs. Now The thing to know about the Firehole is that many of the geyser basins around the Old Faithful area have a lot of their geysers and hot springs empty into the river, making it much warmer than the normal temperature of Yellowstone water which is 'freezing.' In fact, when we got there and first stepped into the water, it was really warm! Almost bath temperature.
At first snorkeling in the river was a bit scary. The only other places I have snorkeled was in pools and one time in Florida (which I don't remember much about.) This was my first time snorkeling in a river, floating down stream and such. We floated for about 1/4 of a mile, got out, walked back, and then repeated 3 more times. The water ranged from about 4 feet deep to 8 feet deep and was crystal clear as long as we didn't stir up sediment. Initially I got freaked out a bit by some giant plants. There were these long underwater flowing bushes that looked like seaweed; some of them were up to 20 feet long and 5 feet wide. I had to keep reminding myself that nothing big (probably) lived in them as the water was too warm for many aquatic fish life and only housed some smaller bugs that we could see.
Another cool thing I saw underwater was a large mushroom-shaped rock that was about 4 feet in diameter. It looked to me like it might have been an old thermal feature, like some kind of old geyser cone.
Didn't see any fish. We all figured the water was too warm for them and that they were in cooler waters. Yeah, it was THAT warm.
It was a sunny day, but I had remembered to put on sunscreen. Except for the ride home. My arm got burned while leaning it on the window during the drive back...
Me snorkeling in the Firehole.