Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Yellowstone

F.Y.I. I am taking part in the A to Z Challenge.  Stop by Monday and check out my post on the FINAL letter Z.

Our trip to Yellowstone was the furthest North we've ever traveled in our RV. It was the brain child of friends, who in the end didn't make the trip with us, but we still had a great time. Along the way we managed to visit, Arches, Canyon Lands, Cedar Breaks, Bryce, Red Canyon , Capital Reef, Goblin Valley, but Yellowstone was the Pièce de résistance.

Yellowstone is by far the largest park we've visited at 2,219,823 acres (3,472 square miles). We spent a week there, put 700 miles on our rented truck, and still didn't see the entire park. We did however see a grizzly bear, bald eagles, moose and bison. Which for us So. Cal. natives was a real treat.

Yellowstone was established in 1872 and is America's First National Park. Besides being the home to Old Faithful and over half of the world's geysers, Yellowstone is home to a variety of wildlife from Bison to Wolves, Bald Eagles to Pelicans, and Boreal Toad to Rubber Boa to name just a few. Yellowstone is one the last (nearly) intact natural ecosystems in Earth's temperate zone.

Our campsite was within walking distance of Fishing Bridge, which up until 1973, you could fish from. Fishing isn't allowed from the bridge any longer due to over fishing of the largest inland cutthroat trout population in the world. Yellowstone offers ONE campground with full-hookups; Fishing Bridge. However, the campsites are really tiny and no campfires are allowed. All trips to Yellowstone must be booked FAR in advance. We booked six months out and could only get six nights because the park was full. Yellowstone offers other sites (without full-hookups) that are easier to reserve. If you are not the camping type, Yellowstone has several options for lodging in the park. My two favorites were Old Faithful Inn and Lake Yellowstone Hotel. I only toured the lobbies of both places but they were magnificent and I imagine the rooms are as well.

The park is home to over 500 geysers. My favorite was Dragon's Mouth Spring which lives up to it's name since it literally sounds like a dragon is inside the geyser. We also loved Black Dragon's Cauldron because it boiled and boiled like toil and trouble, non-stop and Sapphire Pool, the colors were amazing!

Sapphire Pool

Black Dragon's Cauldron

Dragon's Mouth Spring

There is not room or time enough in this blog post to share with you all the things I love about Yellowstone. I can only say that I am extremely glad that on March 1st, in 1872, the U.S. Congress and President Ulysses S. Grant established Yellowstone as a National Park so that 140 years later, I could enjoy it's beauty virtually untouched by mankind. As there is not a poetry format for the letter Y, I thought I'd share a song about Yellowstone with you. Although I am generally not a country music fan, I am a fan of Yellowstone, and music that speaks to my heart. This tribute to the park sung by the late John Denver touched my heart and I hope it touches yours.

Yellowstone (Coming Home) - John Denver
Oh-ooo oh-ooo oh-ooo oh-ooo
Oh, the Yellowstone, Oh the buffalo free Oh, my brother the wolf, my lover the moon
Oh, the little one, oh, the joy that I fell Oh, the love in my heart, a wilderness song
Oh-ooo Oh-ooo oh-ooo oh-ooo
Oh, the waterfall, Oh the river that runs Oh, my brother the wind, my sister the sea
Oh, the ocean shore, oh the castles of stone Oh, the mountain top calling to me
Oh-ooo oh-ooo, coming home oh-ooo oh-ooo
Returning, forever returning, coming home Belonging, forever belonging, never alone
Oh, the mystery, Oh the dreaming of dreams Oh, my brother my own, my sister my own
Oh, the tenderness, Oh, the longing for love Oh, the beautiful way, the sweet coming home Oh-ooo oh-ooo, coming home oh-ooo oh-ooo


Muse For Today: What music genre speaks to your heart? 


Robyn Campbell said...

Yellowstone is on our homeschool to-do list, for sure. What a lovely Y post. The pics are fabulous. You made me dream about going this summer. Love John Denver's song. Casting Crowns speak to my heart. They tell it like it is. *waving*

Sally said...

Yellowstone looks fantastic and I love country music.

Tracy Makara said...

Yellowstone looks awesome. Nice pics! Music genre...that's a tough one for me because it changes with my mood. :)

Kathy said...

Awesome choice for "Y". I've never been to Yellowstone, but only have seen photos. Your description and the tour accompanied by John Denver's music was a real treat.
Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

Tamara Narayan said...

I've been to Yosemite, and would love to see this one too. Excellent 'y' word.

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