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“What a Wonderful World”

June 23, 2016

Most people would think that our trip had ended as we pulled into Bozeman to board our flight home. But it didn’t. This trip is something each of us will experience for the rest of our lives. We were all deeply touched by the scenic views, geological wonders, and majestic wildlife. We developed new friendships, developed a greater love for wildlife and are leaving with a newly minted respect for Yellowstone.

Emily at Beartooth Lake

Emily at Beartooth Lake

As we departed Yellowstone there was a very profound sense of belonging. We joked as we drove back to Mammoth for our final night that we were coming home. Funny thing is, Yellowstone really is our home. It belongs to every single one of us. The need to preserve these wonderful 2.2 million acres is something everyone who visits understands. It allows each person who enters the park to have a common bond. It is a place where we all have a sense of belonging regardless of our age, race, gender, socioeconomic status or even wilderness knowledge. Our group of 12 teachers and two leaders are a testament to this common bond. We all experienced the park together but were each able to take away something unique and profound that we can store in our hearts until our final breaths. Whether it was watching the geysers, hearing the howls of a coyote pack, the graceful nature of the elk, the elusiveness of the wolves, the adorableness (probably not a word!) of the momma bear and her cubs, or the love and adoration we have developed for new friends, the park spoke to all of us.

Group at West Thumb Geyser Basin

Group at West Thumb Geyser Basin

To sum it up, this is a wonderful place. A wonderful world for all of us to see. A place with spirit.

Sunrise at Blacktail Ponds

Sunrise at Blacktail Ponds

Per our group meeting tradition of sharing quotes, we leave you with this:

Before leaving Yellowstone I feel that a word is in order regarding what I like to term the spirit of the place. With all due respect to other national parks, there is a spirit here that is found nowhere else. It is a spirit born of tradition. Started, perhaps, by the old-time stage drivers that swung their teams over the early roads, or by the guides of forty years ago who originated tall tales of the park phenomena, it is carried on season after season.
—Unknown Ranger

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