Yellowstone, My Love.

Morning Glory Pool

Yellowstone WOWS. Sometime in my childhood, I beheld it’s wonders for the first time. My parents loved to throw us in the back seat of the family sedan and take off cross country all the way to California. Yellowstone, America’s oldest National Park,  was on the way. I remember sitting on the bench and waiting for Old Faithful to go off “one more time.”

Tom’s family did the same, drove to Yellowstone in their family station wagon. Driving across country was uncommon in the 50’s. If you spotted another Illinois license plate in a parking lot, it  was not unusual to stop and chat like long lost relatives. Maybe we ran into each other back in some parking lot in Wyoming!

So when we were planning our camping honeymoon in 1973, it was an easy destination to chose, let’s go big: Yellowstone! Instead of fine china and matching towels, we registered for camping gear for our wedding and were fully outfitted. We loaded our supplies into our borrowed-for-the-trip car and started driving West.

In these early weeks of our new lifetime bond, it was Morning Glory Pool, a Yellowstone treasure that called us over. One of us snapped a photo of our feet as close as we could get to the guard rail. All that was ahead of us in our decades together seemed to be symbolized by standing on the edge of that magnificent beauty.

The color is all faded out of this 1973 photo.

Fourteen years and four kids later, we headed back in 1987. This time we were driving in our own van to Seattle for Tom’s parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. Yellowstone was not exactly on the way but the draw was too strong to pass it by. Still tent-camping but more crowded now with the six of us packed in. The first night we arrived was the coldest recorded place in the US. Some of us slept in the van that night.

The older kids, 4, 6, & 7 were mesmerized by the geysers, hoped to see a bear, and were charmed, just like us, by the wild attractions the park offers. The baby remembers nothing 🙂 I still have the counts they kept of the animal sightings!   I’m sure we got to Morning Glory but no photo remains.

BTW We were in Wyoming on the 4th of July on that trip and since we missed out beloved Evanston’s hoopla, we decided to go to Evanston, WY (founded by the same John Evans) to celebrate and went to a rodeo!

Twenty-eight years after our 1987 visit, Tom and I, long empty-nesters now, returned to Yellowstone in 2015 for the third time in our marriage. Much had changed yet nothing had. The mystique was still there.”Old Faithful” still faithful but on a different schedule after the devastating fires of 1988.

No camping this time! We booked a condo in the town of Jackson nearby and spent a lovely evening dining at Jackson Lake Lodge just as we did in 1973. Our one big honeymoon splurge.

Before we left Yellowstone, we walked over to Morning Glory Pool and put our shoes on the edge of the boardwalk just as we had at the beginning. More behind us than ahead at this point but the view in front of us still so beautiful.

Hope for the best,

Tish

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