The BYU Museum of Art has an exhibit right now featuring artwork of the national parks to commemorate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. I didn’t realize until I saw the exhibit last week how many national parks we have nearby and how few I have actually visited. I didn’t even see the Grand Canyon until a few years ago. How sad is that? People travel from around the world to see what we have in our own backyard. Can’t I manage a few hours’ drive?
I decided this year was the perfect time to buy an annual pass and to try to visit as many as I can. My goal is to hit all five in Utah, but we’re kicking it off where it all began: Yellowstone National Park.
One of my favorite books I bought my children is Earth From Above, a collection of aerial photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand from all around the world. As soon as I read that the cover photo was taken at Yellowstone, I knew I had to go to there just to see the Grand Prismatic Spring. I had no idea such a place existed and I wanted to see for myself if it’s as cool as the pictures.
So since we’re at Yellowstone for a family reunion anyway, I was very insistent that we stop to see the Grand Prismatic Spring. It was cold and windy, but we trekked on up the boardwalk with a million other people. We heeded all the warnings and stayed ON the boardwalk.
And this is what we saw:
It was how I imagine living on another planet would be.
And the feeling of the cold wind blowing the hot steam at us was quite nice.
Of course, our view from ground level is nothing like the pictures in the book, but it was still amazing. Not a bad way to celebrate 100 years of national parks. I can’t wait to see what the other parks have in store. In the mean time, I’ll be spending some time near the rice patties pictured on page 28 of Earth From Above as our family spends the next five weeks in Bali. It should be quite an adventure and I might just have to post more often than once a week, so you’ve been warned!