I recently returned from a week in Yellowstone National Park with my family. Six couples and a handful of kids shared a rental house in West Yellowstone, MT. and we spent 5 full days in the first national park in the world.
I am not going to go into detail about the vacation aspects of this trip, I will more than likely document that over on my personal blog, MyBlueHeaven, but I will be sharing some images as well as thoughts about the park itself here on my photoblog. I decided to start with this image as I think it really illustrates what I mean by “Land of Contrast” in the title of this post.
Yellowstone is a truly fascinating place. There are contrasts everywhere you look. You will easily find, as you will see from images I share later, forests and meadows that broken up with volcanic hot springs and geysers. I can’t think of a more visually contrasting environment anywhere. You have places like the West Thumb basin where there is boiling hot spring waters within inches of the cold water of Yellowstone Lake. But none of this really illustrates what I find to be the biggest contrast in the entire park, and what I hope is shown in the above image.
One could argue that Yellowstone is the last remaining place in the United States, at least in the lower 48 states, that is truly wild and potentially dangerous. Death and injury in the thermal areas are a very real thing, sadly a man died in a hot spring in the Norris Geyser Basin just a week or so before we got to the park. Attacks by wild animals is also a very real possibility, and you can even buy or rent “bear spray” to carry while hiking. Even with the park truly being a wild place, and danger is literally around every corner, the real contrast in my mind is the sheer number of people that visit the park, I am told just over 4 million this past year. I can’t think of anywhere else that you can be in the wilderness but also around so many people at the same time.
This image, which I captured at the Grand Prismatic Basin on our first day in the park, hopefully illustrates that very contrast. When I saw the people out on the boardwalk with the steam rising behind them, I knew that I had to grab a shot of it, and I am glad that I did, it might be one of my favorite images from the entire trip.
Stay tuned, over the next week or so I will be sharing more images from a wonderful week in Yellowstone.