of the cruel realities of having five children, a farm, a part-time
job, side writing projects, being stage manager for a dance school,
and managing illness is that there is never enough time. That
isn’t a complaint. I love my life and all the things in
it. No, it’s simply fact. I am very often out of
is why I hate Yellowstone National Park.
have made three trips through the park in the past nine weeks. You
see it’s a little-known fact that in addition to being an
amazing land full of natural marvels and amazing sights, it’s
also the quickest road between several western states. Although
“quickest” is relative. My problem with the park is
that I am trying to get through it. And that I am alone in that
children have now learned to duck down when I offer helpful tips to
other drivers (“Pull over, then
take pictures”). My knuckles get white. There is a
permanent cramp in my ankle from the stop and go. I have rolled
my eyes enough to make them come loose.
sad fact is, not everyone should be allowed out in nature. That
sounds cruel, I know. But sitting at Old Faithful one day, I
watched a tourist use a $3000 camera to take a picture of a crow.
Clearly some people cannot handle the heady sauce that is
have watched people stop directly in front of a buffalo and honk and
gun their engines.
have watched people try to seat their children on or near buffalo for
have watched people get between a buffalo cow and her calf.
get that buffalo look like an animal invented by Disney. They
do look soft and fluffy. I imagine that effect diminishes
slightly when the animal is trying to kill you. But, I can’t
the second trip through the park, my eldest daughter and I saw a
grizzly with two cubs (please see my earlier article on grizzlies to
see why this does not reflect well on us). People were walking
way, way too close, but I suppressed the eye-rolling until we saw one
very petite woman running full speed at the bear with her camera.
your camera options include “force field,” this is not a
great idea. I just shook my head and maneuvered carefully past
all the parked cars. There is a thin line between bystander and
witness. There was no way I was going to spend the afternoon
filling out witness forms.
none of this is really the problem. The problem is that I am
just trying to get through the park, buffalo, crows, bears, and
tourists notwithstanding. I fully realize that for many people
a trip to Yellowstone Park is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And
that is exactly why I think they should pull to the shoulder of the
road so they can really savor it.
my two youngest sisters were not quite teens,we drove them
through the park. Almost as soon as we entered, there was a
giant, lone buffalo standing on the road. My sisters oohed and
ahhed. My husband and I sat waiting impatiently for it to move.
after that, I flew out to Washington State and stopped to see my
sisters. At the time, they lived on a beautiful island in Puget
Sound. As I stood on the ferry looking out, I saw something in
the water. Dolphins! No way. Real, live dolphins.
I was so excited. I oohed and ahhed. The locals
complained because the dolphins would make the ferry late.
Chesterton said, "We are perishing for want of wonder, notfor
want of wonders." I am quite certain he is right. I
am also quite certain that I am glad not to be going through the park
again this summer.
I am me. I live at my house with my husband and kids. Mostly because I have found that people
get really touchy if you try to live at their house. Even after you explain that their towels are
fluffier and none of the cheddar in their fridge is green.
I teach Relief Society and most of the sisters in the ward are still nice enough to come.