Friday, February 17, 2012

Yellowstone in Winter

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
where the deer and the antelope play...

Tomorrow morning at 4, I leave for Yellowstone National Park. Soon, my suitcases will be packed with gear rated for -40 degrees, including boots, jackets, and a multitude of clothes fit to be layered. Cameras and lenses will be nestled safely together in their cases and bags; the tripod still propped up against them because I'm never sure where or how to pack it. Suitcases soon filled with the same ingredients that fill me; mainly, excitement and hope. Excitement to leave the car behind and explore snow-covered miles by xc skis and a snowmobile; excitement for Old Faithful and her beautiful predictability that can reach heights of 185 feet. I hope to spot an elk, or perhaps a trumpeter swan, wintering in the park trudging through the heavy snow in search of their life source knowing warmer months will come.

I've read Yellowstone in the winter can get so quiet that you begin to hear things. Things like an owl's wing beating across a snowy field and branches snapping and bending from heavy ice. Things like the pounding of your own heart as you stand before, and within, a world that steals your breath in amazement as you remember, like the raven and the pronghorn, you too belong here. 

The park opens its gates to me tomorrow. Join me if you'd like....

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