Yellowstone National Park has received a lot of hype lately for being a scary supervolcano which could destroy us all with one honk of its giant nose onto the tissue that is America. And while it is true that the EARTH'S MOLTEN MAGMA is only three to five miles under your feet at any time in the ancient caldera that is the park, scientists are pretty sure that the next Great Molten Nose Blow is at lease 10,000 years away, so you should feel confident in waddling from car to geothermal feature and back again without the fear of becoming a volcano booger (more about the herds of park waddlers in a future post).
Nothing gets me more excited than the prospect of a day spent among bubbly pots of sulfurous goo, so the first day in the park was spent bouncing from one pool of boiling water to the next hole of steamy hiss, taking mostly awful photos as I went. Some were less awful than others, and some may end up on canvas eventually, as long as I can throw in an extra buffalo, or maybe an alien. On canvas, anything is possible.
We climbed straight up the side of a hill to get some excellent shots of the Grand Prismatic Spring, which kind of looks like an eyeball only less full of weird human jelly. I nearly broke my leg on the way down, but Drew saved me. However, I was left with a big, swollen melon on my shin that kept me supplied with sharp jabs of pain at random intervals during the rest of the week.
In spite of the knockout scenery and being knee deep in volcano-nerd heaven, my mood during the week was not always the most conducive to achieving Peak Yellowstone Experience. The juxtaposition of navigating the crowds of people around the visitor centers and the incredible views out the car window of not only the steamy geothermal beauty, but the vistas of rivers, canyons and rolling evergreen hills where antelope actually roam, made me think that we were being shown a lovely slice of wild earth before being sent to the Soylent Green factory to become Human Chow.
As far as I know, that did not happen, and over the course of the week, I became so jaded by the beauty and power of it all that I just could not pull over for one last exhibit of Mother Nature. I was out of wonder.
So try to wow me with your green hillsides, snowy mountains, and rocky coastlines, Pacific Northwest home, I have literally SEEN IT ALL. I am standing, staring at nothing with a look of supercool ennui.