After leaving the awesome landscapes of Craters of the Moon, we pushed further on down the road through the forested and construction-riddled countryside that is eastern Idaho. Driving Hodor through narrow construction zones is never particularly enjoyable, but as always, we managed.
We pulled into our campsite at Henry’s Lake state park – which, in spite of its unremarkable name, was truly awe-inspiring.
Our morning view
Our morning view
We excitedly jumped out to check out our new road-home, but quickly jumped back in to grab our winter gear – near-freezing temperatures took us off guard, as we had just been in temps hitting 90+!
With nightfall upon us, though, we did a small amount of exploring the park, enjoyed a few adult beverages, and prepared ourselves for the caldera wonderland of Yellowstone, our nation’s FIRST national park.
Naturally, the first day that we visited the park was on Labor Day, so every major stop was PACKED. But it was hard to let that get to us with the majestic views of these one-of-a-kind volcanic features. As you may expect, the pictures hardly do them justice, but WOW – these are other-worldly.
Getting to spend as long as we wished at each feature enabled us to learn the ‘personalities’ of many of the volcanic features. We’d learn the alternating eruptions of various geysers within each geyser basin, and would learn to expect one to go off as soon as another finished. And how the strength of one geyser eruption would affect the strength of another.
And we’d learn when the best time to get a picture of any number of the pools based on the temperature and sunlight.
The combination of sulfur gas, heavy hot steam, and beautiful forested and mountainous scenery truly seemed as an earthly meeting point for the divinity of the heavens and the fires of hell.
Our first few days at Yellowstone were such a humbling experience. These beautiful geysers and pools were here long before we were, and will continue bubbling and steaming away long after we’ve left this life.
"There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children's children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred." –Theodore Roosevelt
More Yellowstone to come!