February 27, 2022: I originally wrote right after our trip to the Yellowstone National Park in 2011. I am adding many pictures we took and changing the write-up with this revision. There are a lot of images in this post. You might want to see them on a laptop or an iPad for bigger screen size. I thoroughly enjoyed reliving a memory of a lifetime. It recreated the magic.
The trip to the Yellowstone National Park made a lasting imprint on me for the majesty and limitless power of mother nature. It started with a flight to Salt Lake City and then the drive to Yellowstone.
The Jackson Lake and Grand Teton Peak
While driving up, we got a chance to have a quick glimpse of the Grand Teton Peak. The reflection of the snow-covered peak in the clean waters of Jackson Lake was breathtaking. It also put us in the groove for the vacation.
The Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is a supervolcano: it last exploded in a massive volcanic eruption about 640,000 years ago.
The Yellowstone National Park is atop a volcanic hot spot so enormous that it can fill the entire Lake Erie – one of the five Great Lakes of North America – more than twice. The 3,500-sq.-mile surface area of the park is like a thin crust on top of a massive underground cauldron of mother nature cooking the magma for millions of years. The plateau is at 7000 feet elevation with the incredible splendor of rivers, canyons, and mountains.
Spectacular Geothermal Effects
Water heated by magma escapes from the ground through geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and other hydrothermal features in the park. The hot water and micro-organisms create unique colorful patterns on the ground.
The Geysers and The Old Faithful
The Old Faithful at the Yellowstone was at the top of the list. The geyser shoots up more than 100 feet in the air every 90 minutes or so. Seeing it irrupt was quite an experience.
Walking around the geysers is a magical experience.
Mammoth Hot Springs
We went to the Mammoth Hot Springs. The hot water is flowing down the mountain rocks. The kaleidoscope of colors and patterns on the ground has created an incredible landscape.
The quote I read at the visitor center stayed with me.
Fred Remington: Paint can’t touch it, and words are wasted.
Mother Nature has brought out her artistic side, painting the land and sculpting the mountains into an incredible piece of art – a piece that spreads over more than two million acres. That’s how big the park is.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The kind of forces that created the natural wonder of this scale is beyond my imagination. One visible proof, the iconic symbol of Mother Nature’s power and majesty, is, I think, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The fault activity of the earthquake, the thermal effects of geysers and heat on the rhyolite rocks, and the melting of the ice after the ice age created the canyon. The high iron content of the stone on the canyon walls is oxidizing even today, giving them an incredible range of colors. Mother Nature’s mesmerizing mosaic evolves and showcases ever-so-new vivid colors every day.
Early Mornings along the Madison River
Walking early in the morning along the Madison River was a very soothing, heartwarming experience. The ambiance is so quiet early in the morning. The only sounds you hear are the music of flowing water and birds greeting the morning with their sweet voices and songs. Sun comes out, creating an incredible range of colors around mountain edges and the surface of the river. Looking at the soothing flow of water, listening to natural music, and soaking in colors of nature took me in completely.
Harmony in the Majesty
It took a while to let it sink in that the natural beauty and majesty of the Yellowstone is because it is a massive supervolcano, and Park is sitting right above it. The forces that created the natural wonder of this scale are beyond my imagination. Yet, here we were, right in the middle of all of it.
A Fiery Nature
Rudyard Kipling on the Yellowstone: A howling wilderness of 3000 square miles full of all imaginable freaks of a fiery nature.
A Fiery Nature, it is.
Nathaniel Langford has powerful words, “There is a majestic harmony in the whole.”
Harmony is the word. Nature always has the power to soothe and heal. Isn’t it? The vacation allowed us to pause from the hectic pace and lose ourselves in nature. Albert Einstein once said that the world has one collective conscience. It is very liberating to be in harmony with it, embracing all of the things and living creatures in it, and tearing down our walls of narrow perceptions and attachments. I feel blessed to be part of that harmony in my moments at the Yellowstone.
How therapeutic and invigorating!