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Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Lulu and I Revisited Yellowstone Park - 42 Years Later

We got to see lots of buffalo - near and far - yes -
I took this picture from the driver side - stopped.

We stayed at Old Faithful Lodge - parts are not open

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone - most impressive to me
Old Faithful shoots 300 feet up every hour

The hotel is build around the geyser

This camper is like the camper we brought here in 1977

In July of 1977 - Lulu and I visited Yellowstone Park with my Dad and my 6 month old son Drew. We were on a 30 day circle tour of the USA with a little car and trailer. The trailer looked exactly like the trailer in the picture here. 

It was interesting to compare then and now - not just the park - but our lives. On that trip - we experienced a crowded Yellowstone. We stayed in a rustic campground. We circled a park that had busy roads and impossible parking. 

This time - we were in the area on business. Back then - Lulu was a housewife raising her baby son. I was a young science teacher. My Dad would die a few years later - happy to get his only visit to the Western USA.  Now - Lulu is in Montana to make a presentation for the federal government. Yellowstone was just a side trip. 

Yellowstone is high in the Rockies at 10,000 feet. It is the first national park - about 3000 square miles in Wyoming. Long ago - it was an active volcano. Most of the park sits in the old caldera - the hole on the top of the volcano. There are thousands of geysers - fumeroles - hot springs - etc. It is a beautiful and eerie sight. 

Add to the geological interests - we have a layer of plants and animals that flourish in this protected area. Campers - hikers - boaters - cyclists - enjoy the area for recreation. The high elevation produces a spectacular climate area. Since it had been protected now for almost 100 years - it has developed a layer of history. Along with the Grand Canyon and Yosemite - it has become an American Mecca. It has been named a World Heritage Site. That can be attested to all the visitors of different nationalities we met. 

I experienced quite a bit of melancholy on this second and probably my last visit here. Maybe - it was the bit of altitude sickness I felt - that winded me a bit on high climbs. Yellowstone is a solid piece of Americana - something to be really proud of. It is a sad feeling that followed me down the mountain as the snow fell as I drove. My friend Ted replied tome with a video from Toby Keith - "Don't Let The Old Man In." It captured the moment. Ted is a great traveler - he loves spending time on his trips trying to imagine  how it used to be. 

In 4 hours - we were down out of the park at 4000 feet in Helena MT. We are here in a hotel to reflect and recharge our batteries. It is 44 degrees and sunny. Two nights here - then two nights in Butte MT - and we fly home Saturday. 

I have gotten to checkoff state number 49. 

It was snowing during this eruption

300 foot falls in Yellowstone Canyon

Super heated water above boiling shoot out

The old north gate to Yellowstone

Hot Springs over 200 degrees

Old Faithful Snow Lodge was open but empty

Lots of fireplaces and rustic charm

Minerals color the pool

Lulu loved the wooden walkways

Magma down deep heats the water in this volcano

Yellowstone River starts here and flows east

This was before we had a 6 inch snowfall

Upper Falls - Yellowstone Grand Canyon

My favorite Yellowstone picture

World Heritage Site

Home home on the range

6 inches of fresh powder

In the summer - there would be a football size crowd here

The iconic Old Faithful Lodge

Parts of lodge still closed
Just enough snow to remind me why I moved to Florida

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