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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Yellowstone in July

 by Rain Trueax

In the middle of July, my husband and I took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. We had been there the first time in 1992 and maybe six or seven times since. Our last trip had been in 2010-- way too long. 

We had intended to get back several times. In 2013, we had reservations at Old Faithful Inn-- the time they shut the government down, which meant all the national forests and parks. 

 A year later, we had again reserved a room at the inn but had to cancel based on conflicts with other events in our life. I was concerned something would block us from making it this trip (the farm has so many places that could happen) despite having reservations at the inn and for one of the little cabins at Roosevelt Lodge (get those reservations early folks-- they go fast). 

For me, Yellowstone is one of those special places with so much to see or take in, from big things to little ones, that a lifetime wouldn't let a person know it all. Most of it is not reached by roads. In this trip, with only five days, we went to those that are. We spent time in places that simply are and that let someone just be.

Yellowstone personally takes me to a place of beauty and creativity, of birth and death. It is a place with the potential for abrupt change. Fires have ravaged it, and always it comes back. Possibly its potential for violence, that is so evident in the geyser basins but also among the wildlife, is part of what makes it special. Where else can we, from our culture, come so close to touching the earth at its rawest? 

Yellowstone has the pretty, innocent kind of beauty, but there is also the savage beauty, where life changes in a heartbeat. As a super volcano, it could erupt and destroy all that is there and a lot of the United States. With that kind of energy, it's not surprising that photographers, artists, writers, and those of a creative mindset are drawn to spend time there, to try to know it, and maybe let its energy permeate them. It's what I always want when there.

More of the photos from this trip (a tiny smidgen of what I have) can be seen at [Rainy Day Thoughts]. For the blog, I broke the photos into subjects-- small geysers, wildflowers, waters, skies, wildlife, and opportunities. I might eventually do a video using music but have to finish the fourth in the Hemstreet Witches series before I play.


  1. I have never been to Yellowstone but would love to go. It's on my must-visit list, especially after seeing your photos and reading today's post. I hope more people recognize the importance of preserving our national parks and wild lands. Thank you for sharing your Yellowstone experiences.

  2. It's a great place to spend time, Sandy. I hope they don't start limiting entry to buses as a way to cut traffic. It may come to a lottery where only so many can enter and have to be in a drawing to do it. Some parts of it are more highly used than other parts.

  3. When my husband and I visited Yellowstone, it was crowded and we drove for miles and miles through acres and acres of burned out forests. I want to go back, but I doubt my husband would ever agree. I met some Canadians who were overwhelmed with the price of food items inside the park, and who indicated their forests, flora and fauna were just as beautiful. After visiting both Canada and Alaska, I have to admit both give Yellowstone a run for its money. I think perhaps my timing was wrong?

    1. I was there right after the fires and it was amazing. Now to see it restoring itself (where the fires were hottest it took longest) is pretty impressive.

      What we do for food is have breakfast there, bring stuff for lunches and dinners as it's not so much the cost but the amount with no way to keep it for a second meal. The breakfasts were quite reasonable at $10 for the usual fare and a buffet that I think ran $13 or so with all you can eat. We never did the buffet based on feeling it'd be more than we wanted and we'd not feel good.

      Yellowstone is about the energy of the geysers and the proximity to wildlife where from your vehicle, you can see an amazing array. I haven't seen geyser basins other places, so don't have anything to compare but they are a lot of what make the park such an attraction in the US.

      As for the crowds, there are places to go where you see very few people. We avoided the crowds this trip by hitting for the lesser known places. Especially in the Lamar, the people are friendly, helpful and excited to be so close to big buffalo herds as in right up to your car.

  4. Beautiful, Rain. I've never been but you and Peggy Henderson have made me long to see this park.

    1. It's inspirational on a lot of levels and the best part for me is people can enjoy it whatever their physical abilities. Beautiful scenery can be seen many places, but the combo of that, wildlife, and the thermal places make it very special.


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