Death was not in God’s original plan, nor was it a part of the life He had planned for us in that beautiful garden. But Adam and Eve chose sin, and death followed. Consequently we all know the grief suffered by every human being since. He didn’t want it for us, but
You know how it is when you’ve gone someplace you were really looking forward to – then you head home. Oftentimes that drive home is simply a boring drive. There’s nothing more to see. Your trip is over and you just want to get home. I did not want to end this awesome month-long journey in that manner!
I usually rode the school bus home, but when I needed to stay for 7th grade cheerleading practice, Mom picked me up after work at 3:30. The inside of the old car had soaked up the warm sun of the fall afternoon, and I immediately relaxed as I slid onto the fabric seat. Although far more exhausted than I, having worked all day in the shop , Mom greeted me with a hug and a smile. As she drove, I pulled out my book, Little Women, read all the way home,
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
~ Abraham Lincoln
Those of you who personally know Ron and me are aware: we are patriots. It seems to make the division in this country in the last few years most disheartening, to say the least. I think that may be the reason God led us to Mt. Rushmore in our western state journey – to remind us that we are not alone in our love for this beautiful country of ours – and to challenge us
Once through the Bighorn Mountains, we continued east toward South Dakota, definitely wanting to see more of the Black Hills on our way to the Rapid City area. Oh my word! This land is stunning! We took Hwy 14 north to Devils Tower.
We left Yellowstone, heading east toward Cody. The landscape of Wyoming still did not disappoint. Three highways, 14, 20, and 16 merged along this route.
We loved being in the west, driving through ranches and between rocky mountainsides, both landscapes unfamiliar to us Midwesterners.
Today, we hook up our travel trailer, leave our campsite of four nights. As we have for the last three days, we again travel three states on U.S. 20, in the short distance from our campground in Idaho, crossing into Montana, and entering Wyoming at the West Entrance of Yellowstone. This morning, as I pass the roadside wildflowers I’ve seen every day, they seem to say goodbye
Ron’s greatest desire was to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Mine had been to see Grand Prismatic Spring. Both of our highest priorities had been met in those first two days in Yellowstone, and in doing so, we had seen and learned more than we had possibly expected.
As soon as we entered this magnificent park, we knew it would be impossible to cover all the areas we desired – spend all the time we wanted. We had to choose. Now, on this third day, we had to choose between going through the south entrance to The Grand Tetons or to the northernmost side of Yellowstone to Lamar Valley. We chose Lamar Valley.
It was a long drive – nearly 100 miles – and not typical driving at that! You can see our route in gold on the map, and photos taken along the drive follow, as well.
(Did you know you can click on each pic to enlarge it?)
The roads differed from those we’d traveled in the middle of the park, in that they were sometimes tight and curved with short stretches in mountainous areas. We were glad we weren’t pulling the travel trailer.
We saw Obsidian Cliff and stopped at a kiosk where we observed some obsidian close up. I picked up a few flakes from the ground where people had chipped the beautiful dark volcanic glass, although they had been asked not to. Original peoples had used this rock many years ago for tools and weapons.
And we were amazed at an entire mountainside covered in steam vents: Roaring Mountain
A short walk along The Artists Paintpots was like walking along a painter’s palette:
Certainly this drive had already brought many delights, but reaching the main junction of Mammoth Hot Springs brought us something we hadn’t yet seen anywhere: Travertine Terraces of steaming hydrothermal features, always changing. They were beautiful:
Continuing east, we saw the beautiful Undine Falls, a three-step waterfall, which had once been on the cover of National Geographic.
A petrified tree fascinated us, as well:
And antelope (pronghorn)
Although we saw buffalo here and there on this eastbound route along the north edge of the park, we began seeing them in herds:
Soon we entered a massive open area, a valley larger than Hayden – a valley larger than any we had ever seen. We parked along the road to take it all in. As far as we could see – left to right – east to west – were buffalo – thousands of buffalo:
And as we drove further east, this scene continued for miles.
In this valley, of course, A River Ran Through It. And men fly-fished in the river, the buffalo grazing a short distance behind them.
When you’ve seen buffalo and deer and antelope, how can you help but not sing,
Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam,
and the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
and the sky is not cloudy all day.
As we began the long drive back to our campground, the roadside flowers, as they had throughout the last three weeks, welcomed me. Today, they softly sang Oh give me a home, and it felt a bit like this valley really was my home.