The next morning I rose early, ate a protein-packed breakfast and was the first person on the shuttle headed toward the southern loop in Yellowstone. I knew the park was too big to see everything but this route was going to take me to the well-known geothermal features like Old Faithful, the geyser which erupts about 20 times per day since people began keeping records back in 1872. To date, more than one million eruptions have been noted.
I think the only other geographical location in which I’ve ever felt I was on another planet in this country is The Badlands which have a feel like another planet. The sulphur smells, the boiling ground, the steam, the rivulets of colored water, the popping mud in craters in Yellowstone is truly astonishing. I found myself pondering what time means over and over. The scale of the geology, its duration, its changes and its incredible beauty is hard to assimilate in just a day. Each feature is more amazing than the last. I felt smaller than an atom in this remarkable landscape. I think that everyone can do with a perspective that reduces our issues to virtually nothing every once in a while. I’m lucky enough to have seen the Grand Canyon. But the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is magnificent in its own right. Some years ago, as I dove into a study of artists, I came across a painter named Thomas Moran who became enamored of the park when he visited in the 1870’s. His 7’ by 12’ painting entitled Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a marvelous depiction of the site’s grandeur.
Despite my extensive vocabulary and a tendency toward excess verbiage, the fact is, that in this moment of searching for the right words to define what I saw, I fail. When I attempt to select an appropriate description, I feel inadequate and phony. I think that nature speaks better than anything I can string together. So I’m going to share my photos and videos in the hope that they convey at least part of the awe I experienced on my somewhat nerve-wracking, definitely exhausting, breakneck excursion through this natural wonder. We humans have to find the way to protect this planet which has already been so damaged by our thoughtless ways. I wish everyone could make this journey and step away more conscious that we need to nurture our home.
Farewell glorious Yellowstone. I’m glad I saw you before I leave this earth. I hope you readers enjoyed a small slice of this fascinating place. May you get there some day. Now what’s left to me is the long haul toward home.