Road trip of few National Parks and Monuments in USA - Day 4

Asha Desh By Asha Desh, 8th Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Wyoming

Seven day road trip across four states in USA. Wake up to different sites each day and in the process, rekindle the inner self. - Yellowstone Park.

Yellowstone Park

Day 4: Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming.
“To find your inner self, go into the wild open expanses of nature. It will erupt in moments of solitude”. I certainly experienced this feeling in Yellow Stone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park is the first park to be so designated in the whole world. It is a vast area of geothermal activity and natural beauty, supporting many kinds of wild life. I had known this to be a very huge park, but was not prepared for the vastness of it until I drove through it. Mainly located in Wyoming, it occupies a small area of Montana and Idaho. The Park has five entrances, East, West, North, North East and South. Of these, it is only the North entrance that is open throughout the year. The others are seasonal. Arriving from Montana, we entered the park through the Roosevelt Arch at the North entrance. The inscription on the Arch reads “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people”. It most certainly is so. It offers a variety of activities, like, hiking, camping, picnicking, boating, horseback riding, and of course, it is a great place for the tourist! My narration of this park would not be complete without mentioning the sad part of it, which is the fire of 1988, which destroyed a great part of it. It is sad to see the large areas of dead trees. However, the bright note on it is that nature is taking care of it and some green is sprouting in the midst of them.

Geyser Basins

Our first stop was at Mammoth Hot Springs, which has many hot springs, with travertine and calcium carbonate deposits in various shapes and colors of orange and yellow. We stopped at a few geyser basins, like the Midway Geyser Basin, Norris Geyser basin, Gibbon Geyser basin and so on. Walking through the Norris Geyser Basin, seeing the many geysers erupt here and there, and feeling the warm mist on our faces is an experience that cannot be put into words. No one was ready to move away from that place, but we had to move on. We learnt the differences between Fumaroles, Geysers, Hot Springs, Mudpots and Travertine Terraces. We stopped at the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River which has been captured in a famous painting by Thomas Moran.

Old Faithful Geyser

Finally, we arrived at the Upper Geyser Basin where in is located the well-known Old Faithful Geyser. Tiredness and fatigue seemed to instantly vanish from the entire group as we approached it. This is the only geyser which erupts predictably almost every 91 minutes. We were, however, told to give it a slight margin of few minutes. Nearly a thousand people were present around it, waiting with baited breath for it to erupt. Old Faithful faltered not. Right on cue, it started its show, followed by the gasps of the crowd. It lasted for about five minutes. It was an incredible moment to witness the eruption of the Old Faithful Geyser. Once seen, it is a sight that is unforgettable. We walked around the area for another ninety minutes and returned for another showing, and enjoyed it just as much as the first one. We were housed in cabins right by Old Faithful. The cabins looked like they came out of a Hans Anderson Christian’s Fairy tale story. They were so quaint and picturesque; waking up the child in all of us. Best of all there was no TV! Spending a night in the middle of the mountains and geysers was a wonderful experience.
I woke up early the next day to get another look at Old Faithful. But we did not know its exact time of eruption. I went up to the receptionist at the restaurant and asked him if he knew. “No” he said, without turning a hair. “When was the last time it erupted?” I persisted. Surely he must have seen it from the big open window by his side! “No idea”, he replied. He was not being rude. To this man, who sees it day in and day out, it just did not matter. I retreated, as it was time to board my bus.
I sign this off with two thoughts. One, it was a wonderful feeling to have been there. Seeing Old Faithful was one of the items on my “Bucket List” and I am glad I could accomplish it. Second, the attitude of the man I spoke to in the morning, brought back the memory of a long time proverb. It is an old Indian Kannada proverb, “ Hittala Gida Maddalla”. (Backyard- plant- non medicinal) It means that the greatest medicinal plant may be growing in one’s back yard. But it is not viewed as a valuable medicinal plant; it is simply a backyard plant. Similarly, a thousand people may come from far and near to witness the eruption of Old Faithful, but to the guy who gets to see it every day, it is just another geyser.
For me however, that early morning, sipping coffee on a bench, surrounded by mountains, feeling the cool breeze around me and hearing the low sounds of geysers amid other natural sounds will be imprinted in my mind forever. I sign this off with the quote “To find your inner self, go into the wild open expanses of nature. It will erupt in moments of solitude”. And, yes, it is possible to find moments of solitude, even on bus tour!


Travel, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Asha Desh
Freelance writer. My genre is a mixed bag . My articles include Reflections on life, Humor with meaningful messages, Travel, Light reading and Fiction.

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