Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yellowstone National Park...

(A geyser pool just behind Old Faithful)

(The Yellowstone Falls from the South Rim)

(On top of Mt. Washburn, the volcano that created the Yellowstone Caldera)

Every summer I visit Yellowstone National Park at last once. It's only about 90 miles away from where we live, and I figure if I don't take advantage of it now, I'll kick myself later. So when I looked at the calender after I woke up Tuesday morning and realized I had yet to take my annual trip and that the days of summer vacation were quickly disappearing, I quickly loaded up the car and headed off. Each year I've gone the trip has been great, and this year's solo adventure was no exception.

I saw lots of animals on this trip, more so than usual. From the safety of my car I saw a HUGE bull elk, a bear, quite a few cow & caff elk combos, and a few dear. From the trail I had the chance to see a heard of mountain goats grazing near the top of Mt. Washburn (the volcano that created the famous Yellowstone caldera), a mule deer fawn who looked rather doe-eyed, and an incredibly fat marmot. I of course saw lots of buffalo too, but that's always a given in Yellowstone-- I probably take seeing them for granted.

Outside of seeing lots of animals I saw more wildflowers than I've ever seen in the park this time of year; I'm guessing it's because we've had more rain than usual. I also was able to take in amazing views from the top of Mt. Washburn, Tower Falls, the Yellowstone Falls, Yellowstone Lake, and I of course stopped to see Old Faithful do her thing. I don't know why, but there are just some things, like seeing Old Faithful, that are a must for me-- even despite the hoards of people.

I also try to add at least two new things to my Yellowstone adventure each year. Last year I added watching the sunset over Lake Yellowstone while sipping on a glass of wine from inside the Lake hotel-- truly a magical moment. I also hiked the whole way around the famous Yellowstone falls (the North and South Rims)-- which was also beautiful. This year I added the Mt. Washburn hike and a walking tour of the geysers, springs, and pools behind Old Faithful. I'm glad I got to add them both in, but I think one of the highlights of the trip was actually finding a camping spot (almost impossible on a spontaneous trip to the park this time of year).

All in all, it was a delightful adventure, and it reminded me just how lucky I am to be only a couple of hours from the unique beauty of Yellowstone. Life is good. I feel lucky. Mother Nature is amazing.

What do you do, or have you done, that reminds you your life is good?


Dan Felstead said...

YES I AM SCREAMING...YOU ARE SO LUCKY! To be 90 miles from Yellowstone would be a dream come true. What a nice place to live. I am sure you miss Iowa as well(I think it was Iowa???) but how great to be able to pick up and leave on the spur of the moment and be in Yellowstone 1 and a half hours later! Beautiful pictures...I would think I died and went to heaven to be there with a camera.


Miss H~ said...


I thought of you actually as I was looking at the falls. There was a father/daughter duo who were clearly both photographers. It made me wander what you could do behind the lense as you captured so much beauty.

Don't worry, I will do my best not to take it for granted... However, if you get a chance to go to Glacier, the beauty is even more out of controll there. It's like a fairy land up there! :)

Don said...

Yellowstone is amazing... and huge! I think that it merits more visits, even this summer... perhaps with a mountain bike on the newly repaired/replace rack?

I'm guessing that Yellowstone is like most National Parks I've been to. Once you wander 1/2 mile off the beaten track... near solitude awaits... along with wondrous beauty.


Saphron said...

My best friend went to Yellowstone around the Fourth. Seems like everybody's getting to go but me! :P

So, you saw a bear and you didn't put the pedal to the medal? Brave lady, you are...

Did the New Chapter go with?? (And, shouldn't he now be called, like, Chapter Five or something? :D )