What I Learned in Wyoming

The answer to last week's question is...yes, life without internet is possible, even enjoyable. The magnificent views definitely help to offset the sketchy outside communication. While visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, I didn't quite catch any bison standing in a steaming geyser basin, but I did get this...

Midway Geyser Basin; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

and this...

Grand Teton National Park; Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Surely I can Photoshop them together, yes?

No? Well then, will you accept a moose in a marsh? 

Roadside in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

This was my first time venturing out to western Wyoming, and the trip was well worth it. Yellowstone is an odd combination of raw, freaky nature and civilization. I have to admit that the Counting Crows' lyric [correction thanks to Janie Junebug: 'twas Joni Mitchell's lyric (but it was the Counting Crows I heard singing it (my musical repertoire doesn't really go any earlier than the 80s (sorry Joni)))] "paved paradise to put up a parking lot" resided at the back of my brain pretty much the whole time I was there, but that's not really fair, because the management of the place exhibits a tremendous respect for the protection of Yellowstone's natural gifts, yet they also have a mandate to make the enjoyment of these gifts easily accessible to the public. And the property is enormous, so there is plenty of untouched wilderness.

Exiting through Yellowstone's south entrance toward the Teton Range is like leaving the quirky treasure box of grandma's house to go out and party with your cool, younger cousin. The ski/outdoor adventure culture is so much more apparent in Grand Teton National Park and all of Jackson Hole, and one quick stop at the park's visitor center will have you giggling at the marked upgrade in technology and overall presentation...*ahem* not that technology matters when you're taking in scenic wonders. *un-ahem* 

As per usual, I learned a few things during my adventure, and I'd like to share five of those things with you in case you ever make a similar trek:

1. Elk can and will cross a creek. And when they do, you will never see a more giant collective step backward by the humans.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

2. A sweet & friendly doggie at a gas station can be just as memorable as all the elk, moose, bison and pronghorns on the range.

Gas Station, Somewhere in Wyoming

3. No matter how many times you politely remind your family of the designated---and separate---areas for technology, food and toiletries in your minuscule hotel room, they won't listen.

Video Cameras & Tissues mingling with Waterbottles & Coffee - the Horror!

4.  When taking a tram to the top of a mountain, even though you've chosen the easy way up, flip-flops are not an excellent choice in footwear. There are slippery rocks up there. And snow.

Top of Rendezvous Mountain; Jackson Hole, Wyoming

5. The view is much sweeter when you've actually climbed your way up there.

What used to be babies looking out from Inspiration Point in Grand Teton National Park


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I imagine flip flops are bad for climbing!
Great photos. Water and technology together? Yes, the horror. And imagine if that elk had been a bear.
Glad you had a good time!
Did you know a moose once bit my sister? (Can you name the movie?)

geophf said...

What's happenin', hot stuff in bubbling mud?

I like that your ironic thought of "They paved paradise to put up a parking lot" (NOW I can't GET that SONG out of my HEAD!) can only come to you when you were very conveniently given road access to a paradise you would've never've seen otherwise: convenience to philosophy? Or you could be dropped into the Alaskan wilderness, like me and my family have.

You think less then, and stand more in agape. And then worry about bears. That don't eat you. So you can post on your blog.


I'm glad you enjoyed your Wyoming walkabout! And I see you're back in full force, and then some! Welcome back.

love, geophf

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Love the pics - and the lessons! :)

I always try to keep stuff separate in hotel rooms, too, but it only seems to work some of the time - and it's just me and my husband in the room! :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

HEy, Nicki,

WOW... I had no idea you had such a COOL and exciting trip planned! FANTASTIC PHOTOS!

Glad you had such a good time!

Let's talk soon. I wan to hear all about it. Planning on any trips into the city? I hope so .....

Luanne G. Smith said...

Great photos! I haven't been to Yellowstone since I was a kid. What fun. And cute trumps practicality whilst on vacation, so pffffftt to flip flops on mountaintops. :P

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Those pictures are beautiful! I've never been to Wyoming, but I'd like to go. I think it'd be nice to get out of the city and actually breathe fresh air and hear myself think for once.

F. Stone said...

Jaspser is nearly in my back yard and looks much like the scenery in your photos - especially the elk. I had set up my tripod and camera among a 'daddy' elk and his harem. He was fine with that until dozens of tourists joined me. Daddy elk charged at each one of them - he left me for the last. He didn't charge but he gave me the 'eye.' I respectfully packed up and backed away, slowly.

Janie Junebug said...

I'm not a Great Outdoors kind of girl, but it was cool when we spent an afternoon in California seeing the sequoias and spotted a cute little black bear by the road -- from the car. He might not have seemed so cute without the car between us. Running into a moose -- literally -- is supposed to be very bad news. I think Joni Mitchell wrote the "paved paradise" song. It plays at a restaurant where I eat lunch occasionally, and it's definitely not Counting Crows singing it. I didn't even know they'd done a cover of it.


Maurice Mitchell said...

All these pictures are great Nicki, but my favorite is the Midway Geyser Basin. It looks like a rainbow.

Julie Flanders said...

I've always wanted to go to Yellowstone, and now even more so after seeing your pics. Looks like an absolutely wonderful trip. I had to laugh about the elk, I know I'd be stepping back LOL.

Glad you had such a great time!

Mark Means said...

Some great scenery and, yes, life is still a lot of fun even without the internet.

Most of us can attest to that as we grew up without it! :)

Suze said...

'Exiting through Yellowstone's south entrance toward the Teton Range is like leaving the quirky treasure box of grandma's house to go out and party with your cool, younger cousin.'

Ha! I love it.

'What used to be babies ...'

Anonymous said...

Awesome photos -- thanks for sharing them. We really need to get back to nature sometimes, don't we?

Michelle Wallace said...

That Midway Geyser Basin photo? Is it for real? Oh. My. Word. Simply. Stunning.
Writer In Transit