Monday, July 11, 2011

Yellowstone the Jewel of the National Parks - part 1

When you enter the gate you feel something different about this park, something about it is grander and more magnificent then most other parks. As I drive the road in from the south wast entrance it all seems normal then the river appears to my left and there are buffalo grazing on the far shore, an eagle soars overhead letting out a cry as it lands in a nest atop a tall tree. An elk darts across the road a hundred yards ahead, I sit up in my seat now straining to see the next great spectacle.

I don't have long to wait though as I round a turn a group of bison are on the road, I break and slow to a crawl. There are 4 or 5 of them just walking along without a care in the world, I slowly pass and I am given a glance by a large bull with big horns. I drive up to the next pullout and get out my camera gear to set up for the approaching herd.  I feel like a kid again, my hart races with excitement and a touch of apprehension as I will be out of the car as these 400lb plus beasts pass by me.  I have now been in the park less then a half hour and I am thrown back in time when wild animals roamed free upon the land.

The drive into the park opens to wide vistas of unspoiled landscapes, herds of Bison and elk range free in the fields. I begin to relax into a feeling that I have arrived at a pinnacle of my long journey through the National Parks. Yellowstone was the first and it is easy to see why. From the vistas to the thermal activity to the animals there is so much to take in. I will spend the next three week in the park and camp in my car a good part of the time.

Yellowstone is so big that I will present it in several parts over the next weeks and months. More to come!

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