If you believe you understand the Earth beneath your feet, you might wish to re-evaluate. At least, that's what I've done, after a visit to Yellowstone National Park last week. It's one thing to see a geyser or pretty "paint pots" on television. It is entirely another to stand on dangerous ground, with sulphur fumes permeating your sinuses, hair and clothing, and watch the planet literally boil up around you! Did you know that Old Faithful is not the park's only, or even largest, geyser? Or that Yellowstone has its own Grand Canyon? That paint pots are plentiful, and that walking these grounds sometimes feels like being on another planet? Me, either.
Here in Maine, we tend to call folks from away "flatlanders." That, also, requires readjustment after seeing the never-ending mountains throughout Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The terrain is rugged, majestic, awe-inspiring -- inside the NP, and throughout the vast country surrounding it. Here, one can see the buttes and mesas over which "Indians" appeared to menace wagon trains in the old, very biased Western movies of our childhoods. At one park, interpretive signage explained the hunting technique during which Native Americans would stampede buffalo in hopes that some would run off a cliff and be captured for meat, clothing, and more. Nothing went to waste. A trail at the park leads to one such cliff.
If, like me, you have thought that Salt Lake City, which grew up to large extent around a religion, would be rather staid, rethink that, too. Ditto for labeling the state of Idaho and its neighbors as "boring." There is more to see and do in this region of our nation than I would ever have dreamed possible, from public parks and public art to museums, fantastic eateries, scenic road trips and more.
Come take a photo tour with me, and if something in particular captures your fancy, don't hesitate to contact me for details. I love sharing new discoveries with fellow travelers!