“Entering a New Frontier”

This place has an order of perfection that the indigenous people certainly understood. There’s a reason that our first national park has close to five million visitors each year. This place seems otherworldly at times, almost like you’re in some fictional universe (perhaps a bit like Star Wars). It creates an inner peace where the only things that can break through are the sounds of birds, the whispering of the wind, the howls of wolves, and other sounds that are only heard in nature. It shows its grandeur in its mountains, cascading falls, and its thermal features. It holds mysteries in its varying landscapes and elusive animals.  

This is the first day we were able to sleep in. However, some of us still chose to get up early to watch the sunrise over Yellowstone Lake. Bear spray in tow, we trekked across the historic Lake Hotel grounds. The view over the lake was breathtaking with the mountains in the distance, sunlight glistening over the snow caps like glass. It was worth the missed sleep. 

Each day our small groups rotate roles and responsibilities to include documenting the physical features of the day. There was an unspoken competition between teams over which would clock the highest temperature over the geothermal landscapes (using an infrared thermometer). A reading at West Thumb Geyser Basin of Black Pool hot spring edged out the previous high of 161 degrees F with the highest temperature of 174 degrees F. 

group in front of a lake
Group at West Thumb Geyser Basin on the shore of Yellowstone Lake

We visited the Continental Divide at Isa Lake, where we caught some leeches. Not all other visitors were as interested in this as our group was. We then traveled to Old Faithful and were fortunate enough to catch an eruption within minutes of our arrival. Once checked into the Old Faithful Inn, we headed out on another hike to view Grand Prismatic Spring. The mosquitos were especially excited to have us there. 

geyser eruption
Old Faithful

All of these experiences have helped our group return to some of the joys that children possess, and it reminds us of our responsibilities to not only live life to the fullest, but to also protect the natural world that helps create those feelings of pure joy. 

Laura W., James, and Allyson



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