Hayden Valley at Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park exudes fierceness. Yellowstone exudes wild land. Land that refuses to let go of control. Yellowstone can represent our clearest vision, our ability to hear sound vibrations, our sudden awareness of scents, our longing to taste the clear running water, our hands touching the expanses of green grasses. We can respond to every sense plus more at Yellowstone.
Driving across Wyoming, our family vacation became a real adventure. Yellowstone was our long anticipated destination. We knew that the sights in Yellowstone would be dramatic. We saw drama before we were close to arriving. Stopping in Laramie for the night, we walked with our children over to the gift shop of the pretty and quiet motel.
The shop was almost closing and when we walked back outside, we heard noise from the small bar that was near the front of the property. Yelling ensued and a man was literally and fiercely thrown out the door. He fell on the ground. Perhaps, he was not hurt. There was no “perhaps” about it for us. We rushed to our room. Drama.
On our drive to our destination the next day, the scenery became more beautiful every mile. The air was clean, the wind was blowing, and the mountains loomed ahead. As we entered Yellowstone, even our thirteen and eight year old children were quiet. This was majesty at the most highest level. We saw majestic trees curving around thick forests. We wondered about the Native Americans who lived on this land for thousands of years. We thought about the first explorers and how they felt when they arrived.
Upon our arrival at Yellowstone Lake, we checked in and found our cabin. I would have been happy to sit on the little porch and stare at the lake. However, we yearned for the opportunities that awaited us. We had read about the top ten things to see in Yellowstone:
1. Old Faithful Geyser
2. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
3. Hayden Valley
4. Mammoth Hot Springs
5. Yellowstone Lake (we were there already!)
6. Norris Geyser Basin
7. Lamar Valley
9. Lower Geyser Basin
10. West Thumb Geyser Basin
As we started driving through and exploring the park, we realized that we could never really see everything. We tried. We looked for bears around every curve in the road. None to be seen on this trip. There were tourists and tour buses at every location. Everytime someone spotted an animal, there was an instant traffic jam. We even enjoyed the gift shops and we particularly enjoyed looking at the architecture of the old lodges. Our daughter still talks about what she saw at Yellowstone…buffalo. Or should I say bison?
Whatever the name, there was a bison standing right by our porch when we opened the door the next morning. He would not budge for one inch. We stared at each other. Our daughter would definitely not walk out the door to go to breakfast. Our son acted brave, but I think he was happy to stay put. We waited for at least an hour for that bison to get bored just standing beside a cabin. Later that same day…as we were driving to a waterfall…a group of bison ran with lightening speed in front of our car.
So many moments for our family to capture in our own personal memories. I could go on for hours. If you have not seen Yellowstone…please go. Yellowstone is part of our national heritage. It is history. It is exploration. It is beauty. It is wonderment. It is fearful at times. It is fierce in sheer determination to remain a treasure for us all.