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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Yellowstone National Park

By Aug 12th 2010 No Comments »

Yellowstone, Yellowstone…oh how I have mixed feelings about you…

Before I get too into this blog post, I should explain a few things that helped shape my above statement.

First, the weather – we pretty much hit a miss with this one. Cloudy all day with scattered thunderstorms and rain showers.  Doesn’t sound too pleasant to me.  The weather made tent camping a challenge, but even worse, put a damper on my photography.  We woke up at 6:00AM on Tuesday to capture a few parting shots of the park in the morning sun, and was extremely disappointed by (not only clouds) but a thick and dense fog that seemed to lock everything in – making visibility a negative. So, I essentially missed out on Upper and Lower Falls of Yellowstone River, Artist’s Point, Grand Prismatic Spring and the rest of Midway Geyser Basin.  For anyone that’s been an eye-witness to any of the above mentioned sites, I’m sure you can understand my disappointment.   Worse is, about an hour into Montana after leaving the park (extrememly bummed), we were surrounded by nothing but blue skies and a few clouds here and there…making me one..bitter…photographer.

Second, the recent news involving Yellowstone and the supposed convicts who were in the area.  I know that the possibility of me being personally affected by these apparent convicts vacationing in Yellowstone is pretty slim to none, however it still doesn’t help you sleep at night.  Bears are enough to worry about, but adding convicts to the equation…geez, I thought it was a worry free trip to Yellowstone!

Anyways, even though I had a few negative feelings toward the park, I certainly still have plenty of positive.  for one thing, it’s just mind-boggling to me that all those geysers and hot springs coexist in a mountain wilderness (some are even located directly on the mountainside).  They are just two extremely different environments that it’s just hard to fathom they lay only a few feet apart from each other.

And how about the geysers themselves…some are pretty neat and the bright, vibrant colors from the different levels of algae and bacteria are certainly an eyeful. (For those who haven’t been to Yellowstone, Google image ‘Grand Prismatic Spring’ and check out the awesome coloring on this one…now, I hope you can understand my utter disappointment that this spring was covered in a thick layer of fog.)

Of course we were also able to xcheck out Old Faithful, which, like clockwork, sent water flying hundreds of feet into the air, giving visitors plenty to ‘ooh and ahh’ about.

And something equally as impressive as Old Faithful, was the hundreds of bison freely roaming the park lands and roads. When we first arrived at the park, we were delayed about an hour getting to the campground, due to high bison traffic on the roadway.  Picture this: 2 lane road filled with completely stopped traffic, your typical post-work commute home.  But what you don’t usually see are herds of bison running up and down the white and yellow lines, dodging cars by a hair. Amazing, and even a little nerve-wracking for my new car.

All in all, I’d have to say that I obviously enjoyed Yellowstone regardless of my disappointments.  It really just means that I will have to go back again sometime in the near future, and it is something I look forward to very much.

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