Journey of the Unexpected
We passed the Tetons one last time heading North to the South entrance of Yellowstone. The route up to the Park could and should have taken about three hours but as we’re discovering it is impossible not to break the journey, at points which demand a quick sketch, updating the video diary and photography. The journey took eight hours in total so that gives you some idea of how a relatively straight forward drive is anything but in this part of the world.
Again we were met with numerous contrasts in the Landscape. I’d imagined that the creative and destructive forces, which give Yellowstone it’s unique features, would be concentrated in designated areas researched as the sites of Moran’s works, but the clues of a volcanic heart are literally everywhere from the moment you enter. Sprawling expanses of dead fir are shocking initially, as if entering a scene of unparalleled decimation, until it dawns that at a lower level new lush saplings are also a result of the fires and harsh winters which are routine here.
Passing Yellowstone Lake there’s a first smell of sulphur and the sight of steam rising at the edge of the water.
The thrilling sight of our first Buffalo is from quite a distance but by the time we reach the camp ground they are frequently grazing by the side of the road. This is the moment, the defining moment when it dawns that this is wilderness, roads are so infrequent here the powerful impressive beasts that roam are simply ambivalent.
The ‘Canyon’ campground arrival also comes with its own shock. What has been our vehicle for the last week is now kitchen bedroom bathroom and it feels unexpectedly strange. I’d grown fond of it as a lumbering friend with a toilet but after such a long journey, in it, the surroundings now feel far from home. The restriction in living space becomes suddenly tangible but I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before the advantages become as obvious, hopefully. (More images to come on this post)
Tomorrow we visit the Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone, the site of the definitive Yellowstone painting by Thomas Moran.