Monday, October 10, 2011

The Great Divide

Last January I had the idea that maybe possibly it could happen--- I might be able to take a leap and write full time rather than teach. That come this past September (well August for us), I would work from home, pound those laptop keys and pick up part time gigs as needed. And as such a leap of faith needed some celebrating, I also decided that I needed to do something that I have never been able to do -- take a trip during the fall. Thus the idea of Yellowstone, WY, and MT was born. I booked three nights at the historic Old Faithful Inn. And crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

This past week, the hubs and I packed our layers and headed to Bozeman, MT and then on to the park. If you have never been -- and neither of us had -- let me say that you must go. It is beyond amazing. Geothermal wonders abound - the whole thing is basically an active volcano and there are geysers and hot springs and fumaroles and mud pots and sulphur smells and mud volcanoes everywhere. Sign after sign reminding you that the crust is fragile and you damn well better stay on the path. (we did!) Bison, deer, wolves, elk... we saw a lot of animals, a lot of boiling water and mud and steam, steam, steam. There's a Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and water falls and rapids and it's crazy beautiful and has its own set of noises and smells and your brain goes blank with the huge wonder of it all. When you stay at Old Faithful Inn (built in early 1900's) you get a front row seat for the most famous geyser. It goes off every hour or two, but each afternoon/early evening we grabbed a cocktail and sat on a bench on the second floor balcony and enjoyed the show.

But the thing I most wanted to do was to stand on the Continental Divide. There's something just freakin' amazing about doing this and I got to do it twice as we explored the lower loop of the park. There's a lake there - Lake Isa. And half the lake flows into the Pacific and half flows into the Atlantic and I am the geek girl who was just blown away by the wonder of that - esp. because the WEST side of the lake flows EAST and the EAST side of the lake flows WEST... at least according to the sign. We stood there, hubs and I and took it all in. The interconnectedness of nature and life and people. How small we are, really, and how fragile this world is and how important it is that we take care of what we have. We thought a lot about all this. A truly spiritual experience, this Yellowstone. That and the thrill of peeing in an outhouse when it's 39 degrees out... Plus dinner and lots of wine in Bozeman MT with my pal Janet Fox and her husband later in the week...

Check this one off the bucket list. But I'll be checking it again because I am not done with this place.

What's on your 'bucket list'? Comment and let me know!

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