If you haven’t already submitted your guess for the “jelly bean” contest, you have one more day! The winner will be announced tomorrow evening.
Yellowstone has a lot going on under the surface, which makes for some interesting scenes happening above ground for the visitor’s viewing pleasure. Geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and vents demonstrate how our Earth is a dynamic planet that is constantly changing. These geothermal features are fun to photograph and gaze upon, yet the science portion of Yellowstone really captured my attention.
So let me share a couple tidbits with you:
A large portion of the park is actually located in a caldera, or a collapsed volcano.
Magma that is relatively close to the Earth’s surface provides the heat needed to create the thermal wonders mentioned above
Since tectonic plates keep moving, Yellowstone is an evolving park that won’t look the same in a couple years as it does today
There are more than 10,000 geothermal features found in Yellowstone (I probably only saw about 40)
Mud pots are my favorite. They look like a witches’ cauldron bubbling with a thick oozy liquid. Watching Old Faithful erupt was enjoyable, but I also marveled at Steamboat Geyser, another popular site in the park.
When the wind blew just right, the heat from the springs would provide a much-needed respite from the cold.
The dictionary defines grandness as: impressive in size or appearance; characterized by splendor and magnificence.
Grand Teton national park truly lives up to its name. The mountain range is certainly impressive, and I had to pull over multiple times in order to simply admire the magnificent view.
The main park road runs along the east side of the range, so depending on where you stop to hike, you can get a different feel for these splendid mountains. Some perspectives show you the awe-inspiring sharp peaks while others reward you with a softer view and beautiful lake reflection.
I’ve enjoyed waking up early, breathing in the crisp autumn air, and listening to the bugling elk as I traipse through the forest. By the time the sun begins to warm up the earth, I have already covered miles. I return to my car invigorated and energized for the day. My reward? A cup of coffee and a grand view.
Choosing to leave my job, my stuff, my home, and my community was not an easy decision. By far the biggest fear I had going into this national park adventure, however, was that Iwouldn’t like it. Yep. I was extremely apprehensive that I would be one week into my travels and absolutely hate being on the road. Or that I would be miserable, stuck with the same sense of listlessness I had while residing in Northern Virginia.
I’ve never been happier!
Getting out of my comfort zone was just the remedy for a healthy life “reset”. Completely flipping my daily routine was a perfect treatment for that sense of monotony I had felt. Yet it took courage and grit to move forward into the unknown; I had no guarantees that contentment would follow.
Sure, I miss my loved ones like crazy, but each day I am filled with gratitude that I decided to take this risk and travel around the U.S.
Life is too short to live squished into our bubbles of complacency.