Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Thoughts: Adventuring in Yellowstone

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."
-John Muir Our National Parks 

This weekend D and I found ourselves lacking plans. We had talked about going away for the weekend, a late birthday trip, but didn't really have any solid plans. On Friday at noon I was like, lets go, lets pack the car and go. So we did. We called, reserved campsites for a couple nights, grabbed all of our camping stuff, threw it in the car and went. We don't have kids or even a dog, so it's easy for us to go places. I know a long way done the road that won't be the case so I am taking advantage of it while I can. My husband had NEVER been to Yellowstone. He is a geologist. Seriously? I was shocked.  It had been about ten years since I had been there, high school, so it was nice for me too, to go with D. 
I know I have said it time and time again on this blog but I TRULY live in such an amazing place where some of the most beautiful places in the world are so close. It was only a short four hour drive to Yellowstone. We set up camp (tent-one day I want a cool airstream trailer) and saw one of the most beautiful sunsets. Ever. 
The next two days we saw it all, the geysers  Old Faithful, The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Lake Yellowstone, Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs. We cooked in our dutch oven, listened to music, and had coffee sunday morning on the river with elk as our morning companions. We drove around, took lots of pictures and took in the beauty of the area. 
It was truly spectacular, for these areas are so gorgeous they literally take your breath away. I feel so blessed to be able to see it, to experience and am thankful that we preserve these areas. I often wonder what explorers to the area thought when they first saw it. Well I have some idea. But to know that many parts of the park are just like what it was when explorers came through, that is something to be amazed by. It's like a living history. 

"We pass with rapid transition from one remarkable vision to another, each unique of its kind and surpassing all others in the known world. The intelligent American will one day point on the map to this remarkable district with the conscious pride that it has not its parallel on the face of the globe"
Hayden Valley
-Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, 1872* 

Fun facts I bet you didn't know. Or you did.
-Yellowstone National Park was America's FIRST national park, established in 1872. 
-The National Park Service wasn't put into place until 1916- which meant for 44 years, Yellowstone and the parks that came after did not have a government agency to man it. It was mostly managed by the army (hence why some of the early administrative structures are army like). In all reality, they didn't know what to do or really how to manage the parks. The NPS helped with this.  
-The parks were first meant for the rich, I mean really it took a lot of time and money to get in a carriage or car and drive across the country to get to the parks. Soon the theme moved towards a park for all.
-There were serious debates over the use of cars in the parks. For one, were cars something that was wanted in these preserved areas? And plus the roads weren't so great, not everywhere was accessible for cars and even those roads that could have cars could be very dangerous. 
-The painted pictures by Moran and other artists were used to sell the National Park idea to Congress. You can seem some artistic liberty taken in the paintings but they are stunning none less. 
-The idea of National Parks were sold to congress....get ready for it....as WORTHLESS lands. Their thought was well....we can't use the land for mining, minerals, other resources because of a range of reasons so we might as WELL make it preserved land. 

-In Europe, we have history that goes back centuries with castles and different buildings. America didn't really have that. National Parks were something America could be proud of, our heritage. 

Overall It was a great trip! Here are so more pictures! 

*Quote and much of the info above is from the book National Parks: The American Experience by Alfred Runte, a great book if you want to know more about national parks. My research this semester for school is based on Yellowstone Park, hence why I have an interest (and really it is pretty cool stuff) 

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