guest post by the professor:It is easy to forget the real reason that Yellowstone became the nation's first national park. After all of the barren stretches of Utah and the agricultural sameness of Idaho, the pine-covered hills and blue lakes of Montana are absolute magic. We drove through the park gaping at elk and hawks, oohing and aahing at the vistas, and then parked at the Midway Geyser Range. Oh, yeah. That's right--this is Yellowstone!
The geyser ranges are otherworldly--above is a picture of the whole group in front of one of the deep, Caribbean-blue pools ringed by orange microorganisms that thrive in extreme heat. NASA studies the rare organisms here to theorize about life on other planets.
Whoa, Nellie--sometimes I forget that our family has gotten so big. That's a lot of McBiomass there by that Geyser pool. Will did not comb his hair once all week, and he began to look more and more like "Beeker" from the Muppet Show. "C'mon, I'm on vacation!"
Thrilled by folkloric legends of unruly children dissolved alive in the pools, the kids have to check it out. "It's still kinda hot, Dad! I wonder if that kid screamed before he was reduced to bones and soup?"
The geothermal wonders of Yellowstone: icing on the cake. The star attraction of a park that would still be worth preserving even without the jaw-dropping Martian landscapes. Yes, that is a leash backpack on Fluff. Folklore or not, we did not want Fluffy Soup.