Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Favorite Roads

We are back from Yellowstone and Jackson Hole with some heartwarming and heart-stopping stories. One of the no-miss Roads we wanted to revisit at Jackson Hole was Wilson Road. I will tell you more about it on the next post. It holds even more majestic memories for us after this last week.

Today, for my first post about this vacation, I want to tell you about a new favorite. We stayed in Canyon Village in north Yellowstone. The road north from the Canyon Village intersection is Dunraven. It leads to Tower, more of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon, incredible hiking trails, and several sightings of grizzly bears.

We found ourselves in a line of stopped cars, a sure sign of wildlife sightings. We had seen several bison crossing the road south of Canyon Village, and thought this is what we would see. However, when we got closer, we saw the defining hump on this grizzly's back. It was digging roots at the side of the road. The visitors to the park were ecstatic at the opportunity to see this huge bear in the wildflowers. The beautiful layers of mountains in the background were breathtaking.

When we got our chance to photograph the bear and go on up the road, we took a turnoff to begin a hike up to Mt. Washburn. Though the trail was steep it was also wide and afforded scenic grandeur of alpine wildflowers on a high mountain caldera still holding onto a ribbon of snow. I was in heaven noting new discoveries of wildflowers.

Down below a park ranger had come to chase the bear off and break up the dangerous traffic jam. As we were enjoying the cool afternoon hike we looked down to see the grizzly crest the hill below and come up the mountain toward us. The experience gave a whole new meaning to "scenic overlook"!!! Per advice from bear safety information we did not run, so the bear would not chase as an instinct. We walked slowly away, and the bear nonchalantly walked to the trees to the left.

We took Dunraven Road several times during our stay at the park. All five grizzly sightings were along that road. We followed it longer one day to find a few trails through thickly flowered hillsides in back of Roosevelt Lodge. This was another world compared to the mud pots and sulfur smells of the southern and western park.

The country we live in has so much incredible beauty to experience. Some of it is risky, but life is full of risks. Driving in Metroplex traffic might be right up there with grizzlies per chance of death. We had near misses on the freeway back from the airport.

When I need to think on those things that are beautiful I will perhaps think of Dunraven Road with its cool winds and afternoon rains, and that beautiful animal in the wildflowers. I will not think of traffic at Rufe Snow and 820.


Phil. 4:8
(Think on these things)

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