All good things must come to an end, and it is the same with the Yellowstone adventure. I have been so blessed with this experience. Being in a truly wilderness area where humans are NOT the top of the food chain is, beyond doubt, marvelous! One wrong decision, one false move, one mistake, and you can pay dearly; even up to and including your life. And in rare cases, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be bad (read: “Death In Yellowstone; Accidents and Foolhardiness in America’s 1st National Park”). Having said that, communing with nature brings us back to our raw ancestry; soul-searching, and to the meaning of life itself.
Grand Tetons, thermals, snow, and mountain hiking; just part of the Yellowstone experience
With all due respect to Mother Nature, she has provide beauty in its most raw form. Tall mountains piercing the sky reaching 14,000 feet up; forest that have been scorched from natural causes like dry lightening; animals like bear and wolves who see humans in their primal form, food for survival; natural elements like dense, deep forest and cliffs, freezing water, boiling hot springs, and acidic mud pots, all of which can take your life in a split second (or worse, a slow agonizing death over days or weeks). Yes, Yellowstone is all of these …and more!
Views from the top of Mt Washburn on a full-moon hike!
Above, the analysis of the Yellowstone paints a bleak picture …Or does it? What Yellowstone is not. It is not a zoo. Animals are not caged, captive, or otherwise inhibited by the human element (They rule this land of enchantment, as primitive as it is). It is not a circus; the animals are not tame, trained, or otherwise controlled by humans. This is not Disneyland, 6 Flags, National Zoo, nor Old Orchard Beach. The geology is an active volcano; worse, an active SUPER volcano. And this raw wilderness is EXACTLY what draws people from all corners of the earth! WHEN you visit (not “if”), be cognizant of your minuteness in the big picture. If you respect it, she’ll respect you.
There was another part of this experience that needs mentioning; my coworkers. I met a lot of excellent people that have been a great joy to work with. There was the couple from Michigan (Mike and Roberta), our neighbors in the RV employee park; the family from Florida (Peter, Rita, Dylan & Christian) who did many hikes with me and I learned so much from; Bill and his dog Friday; Rick and his dog Mr. McGregor; the foreign college students from Thailand, Taiwan, Columbia, Czech Republic, and Romania; and the RC’s and HR who I worked with daily. There was Tomas, David, Barbara, William, “Mike from Michigan”, and Tom; yes, they all touched me in ways I will be forever changed. Finally, Elijah, who was my boss and gave me so many wonderful hikes to do, was a pleasure to work with. Yes, the people-experience did not go unnoticed!
Yellowstone will be a summer to remember! (05/23/18 to 08/22/18)
Editors note: This concludes this chapter of my adventure in Yellowstone but the story continues …
…YELLOWSTONE DONE !
Onto Santa Fe National Forest, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, COE in Texas and beyond!
STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”!
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Coming Soon!!! YouTube channel with movies of the adventures!