Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where Eagles and Hawks Fly Free

I remember the first time I was in Idaho headed towards Yellowstone National Park, all I knew was we were going to go where the bears and other wild animals could come right up to the car. I had never seen pictures or told anything else about this very strange place. Of course, this was back in about 1959 and my dad had just bought a new Ford. This was the long distance test. So it was really neat in a lot of ways.

My brothers were not joining us and my mother just "knew" I needed a little friend to come with me. Oh joy, it was going to be a cousin who had never been away from home, a year older than me, and she didn't want to come. Unfortunately, between her mother and mine, she was literally packed up and forced into the car for her "fun" vacation away from home. Has anybody else had to go on a trip with relatives and you just didn't want to go?

It only took us one day to get into Yellowstone from Utah. It was beautiful on the west gate, tall pines and flat land. We drove in to the area around Old Faithful where my parents had rented us a cabin close to the main visitors plaza. I don't like to camp, so this was going to be an real event.

My cousin and I slept in the same bed and she cried every night. She stopped when my mom promised her we would only stay three days and then take her home. So we made the most of seeing the paint pots, Old Faithful, bears and more bears on the road. What I really like though were the wood paths that you could walk on over the hot pots. Boiling water and the only thing keeping you from being boiled were the planks and a rope you held on to with both hands. I liked it even better because neither my parents nor cousin would venture out on the planks. I felt like a survivor on a fiery island. Yes, my imagination was alive and well even at that tender age.

So the one trip that was just totally cool as a child abruptly ended and we took my cousin home. When she got there she was all smiles and her mom couldn't believe she had such a bad time of it. After that, my mom realized I didn't need a companion to keep me company. So we made a return trip a couple of years later.

But this time we went in through the east gate. The most majestic views one could imagine of colorful mountains, huge acres of grasses, wild flowers and some of the best fishing a fisherman could hope for--Cold water trout fishing. Paradise.

The Grand Teton Mountain Range has three peaks called "The Three Graces". Indian legend has it that there are dinosaurs in the lake, much like Nessie in Scotland, and of course, there are a thousand other myths that go with that one. Once you get to know the locals you understand it was a way to keep people out of their land and keep it in the preserved state it is now.

We drove up through Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Now this is a place you can take your shoes off, sit back in a chair and just relax! This is God's country pure and simple. In the summer there is the symphony that plays. Imagine, in the middle of the quiet darkness of a mountain pass, the most beautiful music like angels rocketing through the heavens, illuminating the heart like stars against the velvet sky.

The best trout fishing in the land by day, hiking the mountains, walking through wonderful trails, and soaring on the currents of air with music at night. If you haven't been to Jackson Hole, Wyoming it is one of those ya gotta go experiences. This is a link to more information on Jackson Hole and pictures of the various areas Information on Yellowstone National Park

Well that was a brief visit. I especially like the memories of mountains, crisp air, the quiet solitude under the expanse of sky uninterrupted except by hawks and eagles, and the animals grazing ... all the world at peace with each other, and I get to be part of it for a day or a week.

Come back tomorrow and I have a special treat for you.

1 comment:

Tone said...

I love this blog and it is so fun to learn more about this big country, thank you.