There are times in life when you’re isolated in nothing but beauty and wonder and perhaps for a moment, worry seems to escape your mind. Traveling to Yellowstone National Park in the Summer of 1992 was no exception. I’ve often times tried to recount some of my trip to this amazing park throughout my own mind but never before have I put it into words. Far away from the masses of man-made structures, Yellowstone National Park offers visitors a wide variety of some of the most fascinating and beautiful wilderness in North America. We arrived at the airport in Wyoming and soon after stepping off the plane, it was easy to see how this area of the country was different. Even the interior of the airport was adorned in northwestern old style decor. Such style can be described as rustic and having a certain type of wilderness flare that perhaps seems to best represent the kind of nature this area of the country is renowned for.
I’d like to say I remember entering the gates of Yellowstone, but I don’t. I remember our first stop was near Old Faithful, the famous geyser. In fact, I believe we stayed in the same hotel either the Reagans or Carters had stayed at just a few weeks before our arrival. The eruption of Old Faithful is a sight to behold and for the first time I experienced the geology that Earth was capable of. I would no longer think of Earth’s surface as just some dead mass of dirt, but was now well aware of rumbling activity occurring below it. That’s true for much of the park. Its surface is riddled with many different geysers and springs. The springs, on the other hand contain clear blue water. It’s a similar color to the water you see on the shores of places like Hawaii and the Bahamas, but at a temperature that boils. While they’re absolutely beautiful, they give off a distinct egg-like smell that I remember until this day.
While the park’s geysers and springs are one of the biggest highlights of Yellowstone, the wildlife is abundant. I especially remember the bison and elks. The bison are especially beautiful as they graze the park’s plains. While they appear to be mighty and large, they’re also peculiarly graceful creatures. The many trails of Yellowstone offer visitors a chance to experience both the elements of geological wonder and wildlife. We took advantage of the trails during our stay, thus experiencing the wildlife, scenic beauty and geological wonders all at once. Yellowstone also celebrates Christmas in August, so another one of the places we stayed was elaborately decorated for the holidays. I also remember the petrified forests, made up of old trees that had long turned into stone by time. Overall, the experience was mesmerizing and I’d love to return someday. I was 7 years old at the time.