11 December 2010

Walkin' Yellowstone

As I was laid up on the couch sick these last few days I had nothing but time to think. I didn't have the energy to get to the computer to do any writing, but I sure did do a lot of thinking. I was watching a documentary on the wolves of Yellowstone and it got me to thinking about the trip I made out there a few years ago. I have to say it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I haven't seen much mind you, but I can assure you that it is a sight to behold. Everywhere I looked was a picture perfect snapshot waiting to be taken. It was the first week of June and we had 6 days of nearly cloudless, blue skies with temps around 75 degrees. Couldn't have asked for anything better. It really was perfect in every way.

Yellowstone and it's neighbor Grand Teton National Park are an outdoorsman's/woman's paradise. Now, having grown up in suburban life never seeing anything like this I was absolutely amazed with the vastness of it all. This was my first time seeing snow capped mountains or anything even close to the scale of those mountains. I probably looked like a kid in a candy store, really. I must have stopped at almost every cut out they had for vehicles to pull over. There are two things you can definitely count on doing a lot of there at Yellowstone, walking and driving. Everything is so spread out and big that a lot of driving is the only way to really get around. It is definitely well worth it, I assure you.

So, on to the walkin'. That's what this is all about, right? We did as much hiking as we could considering we had our 4 year old son with us who, by the way, I was exceptionally proud of. We hiked up a mountain, which was probably just a big hill. He and my wife made it halfway up which was probably the equivalent of a 2 mile hike, or 4 miles both ways. Granted, I carried him on my shoulders for as long as I could, but I was proud of the boy none the less. There were a couple other people with us so we pressed on to the top. I couldn't tell you exactly how high up it was, but it was high enough that when we got near the top there was still snow on the ground. I was wearing shorts and there were spots where the snow was soft enough for a leg to go in knee high. I kept on carefully, however, and made it to the top in a few hours time. It was an awesome experience. The sense of accomplishment was great, and the silent peace at the top was deep. At one point I slipped on the snow/ice and landed on my tail bone.......ouch! I was sore for about a week. But it was all worth it, let me tell you. I envy anyone who gets to live out amongst the wilderness like this.

I would encourage anyone with the opportunity to venture off into the wilderness that is Yellowstone National Park to do so. You will not be disappointed. With todays plastic and steel fabricated world, natural wonders such as this are that much more special. It's one of those things that can really only be experienced for yourself. Yes the pictures are beautiful, but they've got nothing on the real thing.

Keep Walkin'

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