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June 18, 2013 – Heading South

June 19, 2013

Our last safari through the Lamar Valley began at dawn. We weren’t disappointed. Herds of bison had charged downhill the previous evening. Here in the softer grass they had begun to breakfast. We said goodbye to moose and black bear.

Then we went south into the canyon and deep into geologic time. From the Mount Washburn overlook, we fit the puzzle pieces of rock type and rock formation processes that make up Yellowstone. Below us lay evidence of the catastrophic explosion that helped shape the park, and set the state for the creation of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its famous overlook Artist Point. There we had an impromptu art lesson and each painted our own view of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone, a site immortalized by painters since the 19th century.

Our artistic renditions of the Canyon.

Our artistic renditions of the Canyon.

We then descended into the sulphurous bubblings of Dragon’s Mouth Spring in the Mud Volcano area. En route we walked paths lined with spring beauty, white phlox, and other western wildflowers with North Carolina counterparts, blooming in what was once the scorched earth of the infamous wildfires of the summer of 1988 — fires that were not destructive, but rather the source of new life.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
—Lao Tzu

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

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