Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wonderland


It's late tonight; so late that it's almost tomorrow. As I sort through pictures from Yellowstone, I feel once more the wonder that overwhelmed me during that long day. How can so much beauty, so many kinds of beauty, be contained in one place, in one small speck of the glorious universe that we live in? As we traveled to the different natural wonders in Yellowstone, I often found myself speechless with awe, groping for the words to describe the indescribable. At last, words came -- insufficient, unsatisfying, as any words that take so much upon themselves are doomed to be, but words nonetheless:

A wild, untamed, untameable land.


And so it is. The only hand that has the power to tame it is the Hand that created it.

I think I prefer to let pictures speak for themselves, rather than give a detailed (and very boring) account of our journey. So, without further ado:

Our first wildlife sighting in Yellowstone -- outside the post office!







I wonder, was he payed by the park to pose here?



A baby geyser, just a foretaste of Old Faithful:





Old Faithful was quite kind in not making us wait too long for an eruption -- just long enough to get sunburnt...







I have a hard time believing that bacteria create these glorious colors:



The water was icy, but Tiffany and I braved it for the sake of posterity:



Tower Falls:



Yes, that is indeed snow! We traveled up to about 10,000 feet on one of the mountains:



A reproduction 1930's touring bus, complete with chrome grille and retractable canvas roof:



Artists' Canyon:





A male elk, which we would not have seen if it had not been for a certain unplanned detour...



And what should we find to greet us in our hotel room that night, but more wildlife!



And now it is morning (if that is not too ambitious a word for this particular hour of the night) and high time for me to "retire." I'll end with a quotation from John Muir, the famed naturalist. While we did not spend the night in Yellowstone, night had fallen by the time we made our way out of the park. We caught a glimpse of the forest fire that had redirected (and lengthened our journey) as we drove into the night, and the smell of charred wood lingered fragrantly in the car. But Muir's words are more descriptive and appropriate than mine:

"Now comes the gloaming. The alpenglow is fading into earthy, murky gloom, but do not let your town habits draw you away to the hotel. Stay on this good fire-mountain and spend the night among the stars. Watch their glorious bloom until the dawn, and get one more baptism of light. Then, with fresh heart, go down to your work, and whatever your fate, under whatever ignorance or knowledge you may afterward chance to suffer, you will remember these fine, wild views, and look back with joy to your wanderings in the blessed old Yellowstone Wonderland."

~ John Muir.

4 comments:

  1. Dear Shannon,
    Now you see why I love Yellowstone so much! I am astounded each time I visit (yearly). G-d's handiwork amazes me every time I see it.
    Like you, I have a hard time believing that bacteria make such beautiful colours in such an inhospitable environment. The Glories are G-d are truly wonderous!
    Cheers,
    Kristin

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  2. Those are just lovely pictures Shannon! I've never been to Yellowstone, but it looks like it would be just as awesome as Yosemite.

    Thanks for sharing such wonders:-)

    Lots of love,
    Sommer

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  3. Beautiful pictures!! I really hope to see it someday! :)

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  4. Beautiful, beautiful pictures, Shannon...I loved the picture of you and your sister. :)

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