Monthly Archives: October 2017

Yellowstone National Park

Friends, I am in awe of Yellowstone National Park.  This is a must-do and should be added to your bucket list.  It’s astounding the uniqueness, variety and magnificence of the things to see here.  Our Creator truly showed His handiwork in this place and what a blessing that Theodore Roosevelt had the forethought to designate the area as the first national park, thereby creating the national park system which preserves sites like this in perpetuity.  It’s a treasure!

First of all, Yellowstone Park is immense; it’s over 2 million acres, larger than the States of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  It nearly covers the whole state of Montana.  So, there’s a lot of ground to cover, but we did our best to see everything we could.

Our first stop, not surprisingly, was Old Faithful geyser.

Old Faithful erupts every 90 minutes or so.  It isn’t the largest geyser in the world, but it is the most consistent in height, interval and length of eruption.  While we were waiting around for Old Faithful to blow her lid, we toured the other thermal features in the area, which were equally as interesting and beautiful.  The bacteria that manage to live in the scalding hot water produce vibrant colors…


…and rotten egg-like, sulfurous aromata which emanate from the depths.


We also saw plenty of wildlife at Yellowstone.  Lots of bison.

In fact, this guy for some reason liked hanging out all by his lonesome near our cabin.

When we would come out early in the morning, he’d just be grazing in some patch of grass right outside the door.  He didn’t seem bothered by us being there, but it also seemed like he viewed this area as HIS territory and he merely tolerated our presence.  We called him Bill and eventually grew accustomed to his company as if he were just like a squirrel on a tree and not some 2 ton bison with horns that could impale a person like a marshmallow on a bamboo skewer.

We spotted a black bear,


a giant elk, with massive antlers,

a portly marmot sunning himself on a rock,

pronghorn antelope,

and more bison

Our sights weren’t limited to animal life, but plant life as well.

A mountainside of wild flowers is just breathtaking.

These are some of my most favorite shots of our trip.  I think it’s like a scene from the Wizard of Oz.

We saw the iconic Lower Falls of the Yellowstone.

At 308 feet tall, the Lower Falls is the second most photographed spot in the park just behind Old Faithful.

One morning we woke up early while it was still chilly outside and viewed the mud pots.

To me, it looked like a scene out of a war movie of a battlefield that just got leveled by carpet bombing.

The steam emanating from the ground created an eerie landscape.

The Mammoth Hot Springs rock formations were also intriguing.

In this area of the park, boiling hot water beneath the surface rises through the limestone layers.  The water quickly dissolves the rock.  When this solution bubbles up to the surface, the water evaporates leaving layers of white, chalky travertine formations.

As we were driving through the park, Benjy saw this view and immediately pulled over.  He thought it was particularly picturesque.  I have to agree.



It was definitely the highlight of our trip!!

Grand Teton National Park

The Beaver Dick Campground had nary a shower nor flushing toilet, so we wasted no time getting out of there.  We still had a 2 hour drive ahead of us.  All of us were grumpy and exhausted.  Our condition was vaguely reminiscent of Jen’s and my ungraduate days at the University of Florida of Saturday morning hangovers, minus the adult beverages and all night fraternity parties.  But, a Big Gulp size cup of coffee and grease from a McDonalds breakfast can do much to lift spirits and get the adrenaline running again.

So we finally arrived at our destination, Grand Teton National Park.

And here’s the Teton Range with the iconic Grand Teton peaks towering above the landscape.

We did some hiking and enjoyed all the great views.

We even saw a moose.

We learned later, that the moose frequents this location, which is right near a bridge.  The locals call him Bruce.  Bruce the Moose.

One of our guides told us that locals call moose “swamp donkeys” because sometimes the animals graze underwater and eat the plants they find at the bottom of lakes and streams.  For some reason that led us back to another discussion about Beaver Dick.  We decided a great name for a local band would be “Beaver Dick and the Swamp Donkeys.”  I don’t know how we got off on that tangent.

We stopped at the Chapel of the Transfiguration located on the park property.

The inside of the chapel is small and quaint, but it was peaceful and lovely.  What a view from behind the pulpit!

Such a wonderful place to worship our Creator, surrounded by His majestic creation!