Yellowstone: A Dawdler’s Experience

“Now comes the gloaming. The alpenglow is fading into earthy, murky gloom, but do not let your town habits draw you away to the hotel. Stay on this good fire-mountain and spend the night among the stars. Watch their glorious bloom until the dawn, and get one more baptism of light. Then, with fresh heart, go down to your work, and whatever your fate, under whatever ignorance or knowledge you may afterward chance to suffer, you will remember these fine, wild views, and look back with joy to your wanderings in the blessed old Yellowstone Wonderland.”

~John Muir

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The vastness, the diversity, the pristine quality of wilderness despite the millions that visit- what an amazing place this national park is. With an early start and the entire day ahead, it was exciting to get to use my lifetime “Senior Pass” for the first time. The ranger at the park entrance smilingly asked where I was from, and in spite of the long line of cars behind, allowed for a photo:

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From then on, I decided not to hurry. There was a loop suggested, which would only cover a quarter of the park. Cars sped ahead, and I soon noticed that there were pull-offs for slower traffic, often being points of interest. I’d researched and learned having a dog along significantly limited what one could do, but the pull offs became places to walk and explore, with very few other people- most of whom were headed for major sites of interest.

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The first stop was along the Madison River, where we broke the rules right off, by walking out this riverside trail (no pets allowed more than 100 feet from the pavement) and began to soak in the beauty of this place. There was no one else there- it was an early pull-out and it seemed that everyone else was in a hurry to get to other places- so much to see… once back in the car, I simply could not drive more than 35 mph… so that’s what the pull outs are for….

So here are some photos, which I share humbly, knowing that Yellowstone is one of the most photographed places in our country.

But my photos capture my experience, spectacularly and profoundly beautiful to me. Avoided the biggest “attractions”, and enjoyed taking the side roads slowly to see equally stunning places…..

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A long day, and only covered but a fraction of what is offered in this special place…  maybe a return for another loop tomorrow?

Not to be. My site was booked for July 4th, understandably. Time to travel away from the masses…

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