Please note: The travel described here occurred in the past. Today, I do not recommend that anyone who is, or may possibly be, pregnant travel to this state. A miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy cannot be safely treated under this state’s current laws. Please care for yourself and travel to places where your life and health are valued.
Last time we went to Yellowstone National Park, we, like everyone, took several photos, mostly selfies since I was travelling solo and my pups aren’t named Ansel Adams. Since I am frequently a solo traveler, I rely on fellow tourists to grab a few images of us, and I often return the favor. I prefer, though, capturing photos that do not include me, although sometimes include the hounds, featuring fabulous view. My vehicle makes an appearance from time to time, too. I like new angles and images and scenery. Every visit, when possible, includes Old Faithful, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, or both. Of our two new vistas on our most recent trip, we hop out of the Jeep to snap a few shots at the Continental Divide just uphill from the famous geyser. Pups, no matter how faithful, are not allowed similarly, so we find our own picture point.
Thousands of roads from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn cross the mountainous divide over both the north and south American continents, a handful of which lie within the United State’s first national park. We choose one of these to grab a we-were-here reminder. Yes, I took pictures as a courtesy to others who likewise pulled over during our stop, but, more importantly, I have a reminder of me and my travel companions. In my mind, that’s what makes a snapshot: capturing a specific place and time with the individuals present at the moment, like me, my rescue, and my bulldog. The record of straddling the Continental Divide at an elevation of 8,391 feet above sea level exists.
On our return trip to our campsite, we climb up to Lake Butte Overlook. Given the past fires, the drive is mangy, and from the top, in later afternoon, a haze fills the view. Nonetheless we stop, as this might be our last look at the park, the lake, and the loveliness named Yellowstone. A large boulder comfortably seats three. My rescue possesses enough height and bounce to jump into place. The bulldog needs to be scooped up – all sixty-five pounds of him – and we sit leaning into each other recalling our day. Nearly invisible through the haze, the Tetons tell us how far the Yellowstone landscape reaches. We journeyed here today. We made our way to this easterly hilltop, reminded that for one day, we deserve to see an outing of spectacular beauty.
After we arrive, a handful of vehicles likewise take a final view of the park and wander around our stone, some stopping to say kind coos to my dogs. Among the faces, a couple, who earlier in our day, snagged the pictures of us at the Divide. They again return the favor, capturing our last glimpse of the day and the adventure. How lucky I am to share so much of this day with my four-legged friends. How exciting it is that I manage yet another journey to Yellowstone. How curiously the haze creates an aura of divide between the images of our day and the exit that awaits us. This photo op stretches far beyond a moment in a day of beauty. We’re not looking to secure our place in time, but capture our time in this place.