If I hadn’t been driving, I would have never believed Yellowstone was on planet Earth. This park is amazing -it showcases nature’s immense diversity and God’s imagination. Fred had visited Yellowstone before me and sent me a long list of must dos and even hooked me up with a group of girls that worked there that had picked him up. Camping is impossible in busy Yellowstone; you have to make reservations for campsites at least a year in advance, not exactly my style, so the girls suggested I sleep in the van on the down low. Road magic! First place I went upon entering the park was The Grand Prismatic Spring, which is the heavily photographed deep spring with rich psychedelic color tones. Then onto Fairy Falls, which was a long thin waterfall that ran off a cliff into a shallow basin –probably the most boring hike ever, but the falls are worth it!
Old Faithful was of course quite the amazement but the build up to that great moment when it erupted made me lose faith in humanity. I sat next to a sweet old lady saving seats for her family and we did some chit chatting. Her grandkids came up and complained about the limited food choices at the lodge and began raving about the bad cell reception. Really? You are at one of nature’s most magnificent wonders and what –you want to play bubble shooter or some game about pissed off birds?! Lame. The Grandmother told them that the last time she saw Old Faithful she was a little girl the same age as her grandson, their response was “this is so boring! Can’t we just go to the gift shop and back to the hotel?!” Children are cruel and ignorant; I think I’m allergic to them. Also there were just tons of people, way too many people aggressively taken photos. Upon entering the park a ranger told me that they have enough accommodation for one million people in a summer, but they get upwards of three and a half million! All of which, I believe were at Old Faithful the same time as me.
After the awesome eruption and time spent ooh and ahhing, I decided to do the huge Geyser loop. I visited all the springs and Geysers and had a blast! They were absolutely amazing: bubbling and hissing holes in the Earth with 400 degree water sputtering out –wow! The colors were great too, the different bacteria and natural chemicals turning the pools orange, brown, green, blue, teal, yellow, and red. Reminds me of a Sunny School song I will never forget, “Jesus you sure know how to color!”
I got extremely excited when I saw a trail head for Mystic Waterfall; one of my favorite songs of all time is Into The Mystic by Van Morrison and I jogged the trail, pumped to have to opportunity to go into the mystic just like Van sings! The waterfall was absolutely beautiful and I didn’t hesitate to strip down and jump in. The falls were intense with tons of rocks at the base and a fast moving current. After submerged I had to hang on tightly to rocks so I didn’t go rushing down the river to a certain concussion -water slid style. It was a real euphoric moment for me being in the mystic and I had the most blissed out hike back to the Geysers. I felt high as a kite, soaking wet, emanating total joy and light to all the terrified looks from other tourists and laughing off the concerned “did you go into that water?!”
The more I travel the more I realize how brave of a person I actually am –contrary to what I’ve always believed. The idea of, ‘this may be the only time I am ever here’ really adds a lot to my activities because it forces me to always live in the moment and experience it to the fullest. Now if I even have the hint of an idea such as ‘I wonder what is up there,’ or ‘I should do ___ or go to ___’ I just do it without reserve. Even if I’m weary about having to push myself to be bold or do something that will lead to discomfort I try to dive (sometimes literally) right into it. Not only does this lead to more self-confidence and pride, but going a little farther always leads to something good –always. Also, you know that age old law that an object that is in motion, stays in motion? I believe it works the same for bravery and fun; the more daring, spontaneous, happy, crazy activities I do the more I can do and the easier they are to do. I’m sure everyone knows this but it was a really important thing for me to discover –and has brought me football fields closer to total bliss.