“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” ~John Muir~
The Yellowstone Experience – something everyone should know. My husband Terry and I were recently marveling that it took us so long to find our way to this land of magic and mystery. After spending over two years in a place of such raw, wild beauty, it is time for us to move on and gain new insights and explore new corners of the world. But before we leave this paradise, it is important to touch on a few of the wonderful experiences we shared here, together and with special friends.
Hiking was by far our favorite pastime, where we could leave the worries of the day and immerse ourselves in God’s splendor, the backcountry of Yellowstone, where we knew for certain that we were not on the top of the food chain, but sharing this wilderness with those who were here before us – grizzly, black bear, bison, and elk, to name a few. Terry always felt that being amongst the wild ones kept all his senses on high alert, which was the best way to view nature.
Some of our hikes were shared with two of our most favorite people, Rosie and Jim Johnson, who we know from Sedona and who summer in Yellowstone. At times Jim’s alter ego Jimmy would come along for the ride.
Friday, September 3rd ~ Moving Day
This was a bittersweet day for us, leaving the grandeur of Yellowstone, the people we have come to know and love and our apartment that faced Mt. Everts and allowed us the opportunity to look out our window and view wildlife at its finest, newborn elk and bison calves with their moms. Some days walking to work was an interesting journey of dodging the elk, who can be more aggressive with their babes in tow.
All of our worldly possessions are crammed into a 10-foot U-Haul and the back of our truck camper. Of this, some would think, look how far they have fallen! We prefer to see this as a very freeing experience that will allow us to pick up and move about as we see fit. This is certainly not appealing to everyone but seems to be what is calling us at this time in our lives.
One last lunch for a while with our friend Rosie (sorry Jim could not be there) and we are off. We are sorry to be leaving so soon before the beginning of the elk rut, where the resident elk herd at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone perform quite a show for employees and guests alike. As if staged, a very large bull elk strolled into Mammoth this very morning, getting ready to round up his harem of cows and steel himself against any other bulls in the area who may want to challenge him.
A very prominent bull elk lovingly known as “Number 6” (the ear tag number on him) was king of this territory until a freak accident took his life over a year ago. He was a “bad boy” who had to have his antlers removed a couple of times for doing battle with vehicles and making a nuisance of himself. He was a beauty who gave us all chills whenever we heard him bugle. There were many tears shed over his passing.
Goodbye for now Yellowstone. We will remember your wildness, your breathtaking vistas, and all the wonderful people who you summon and continue to draw back to your beauty and mystery year after year.