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Portland Man Dissolved in Yellowstone Hot Spring Was Apparently Trying to “Hot Pot”

The Portland man who died in a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park last summer was apparently trying to “hot pot,” according to the final accident report recently released by park officials—a term for the deeply verboten act of soaking in the park’s thermal pools.

To be fair, the pool does look pretty soakable.

Originally, officials thought the Portlander he had merely lost his footing and slipped into the hot spring while walking off track.

But according to the recently released report, on the afternoon of June 7, 23-year-old Colin Scott and his sister left the boardwalk near Pork Chop Geyser and wandered to the Norris Geyser basin looking for a pool to soak in.

The report quoted Scott’s sister as saying, “her brother was reaching down to check the temperature of a hot spring when he slipped and fell into the pool.”

She had been filming the journey to the geyser on her phone, and caught Scott’s accident. Officials say they won’t release the video.

Later, a rescue team found portions of Scott’s body, along with a wallet and orange flip flops. The rescuers had to stop due to a lightning storm, and when they came back the next day, they couldn’t find any further remains in the highly acidic water.

Unlike Oregon’s mild hot springs, which, at 85-112 degrees, are perfect to soak in amongst old hippies, hot springs in Yellowstone can reach up to 250 degrees.

“In a very short order,” a deputy said, “there was a significant amount of dissolving,”

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Sophia June

Sophia June

Web editor Sophia June is a Portland native. After graduating from the University of Oregon, where she spent too many nights as a radio DJ, she is happy to be working at her hometown alt weekly.