Friday, November 6, 2015

Yellowstone In The Morning

During our summer road trip, we saw more interesting sights that I could squeeze into my real-time posts. Now that I'm back home and have fished all 548 photos off my devices, I have a few more road trip stories to share. 

To catch up on the rest of the trip, start here.

After a lovely night spent on the east side of the mother of all national parks, we drew a deep breath and set off for Yellowstone proper. Once we crossed the park boundary, one magically majestic splendor after the next materialized before our very eyes. 

I am not exaggerating. Check out these highlights of our morning's adventures to see for yourself.

^ Welcome to Lake Yellowstone. Family lore has it that as a little boy, my husband and his family were out fishing on the lake one summer's day when a huge thunderstorm blew in. Lightning began to strike in terrifying proximity and they rushed to the relative safety of the shore. 

Also in the family archives is the story of the time we came here when Ranger was a tiny pup, and a raging snowstorm met us on the eastern shore of the lake. 

This visit, the weather conditions threatened to storm yet again, and when we hopped out of the car at this windblown viewpoint for photos, my third-born and I found ourselves horrifyingly under-dressed. On the spot, we declared that the next stop would be the Fishing Village gift shop, where most certainly warm woolen beanies would be available for sale. They were. We each bought one and wore them all day long. 

^ The Hayden Valley flanks the Yellowstone River, winding through the center of the huge park. This, according to my safari-minded father-in-law, is the prime vantage point for viewing wildlife, and sure enough, we saw the obligatory bison herd across the golden plains. 

As much as I lvoe Yellowstone in the bright days of summer, I must admit that these September visits offer a special atmospheric beauty. Those dramatic clouds scuttled across the sky on a wild wind, and other than the shocking cold, the effect was thrilling. 

^ For my money, this is the most iconic view in the park. The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River cut through the colorful rock that gave the park its name. I can only imagine the dropping of jaws that most certainly occurred when the first white explorers stumbled onto this sight. 

And the explorers who come to this place today continue to drop their jaws. As usual, the viewing areas here were jammed with an amazing variety of humans. Babies, grandmas, folks in wheelchairs, mobs of Asian tourists, and untold numbers of urban adventurers clogged the guardrails to gaze in admiration. Literally everyone over the age of three held a camera and engaged in the great art of selfie-ing with the scenery. Honestly, I felt like I was at an art gallery or a club, and while perhaps not as poetic as a lone visit, the experience definitely got my blood pumping.

* * * * *

Time for lunch. Have you ever picnicked while wrapped in two sweatshirts and a blanket, while the howling wind attempted to blow every morsel of your meal to kingdom come?

Click here to see if we survived.

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