Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yellowstone: It's not for sissies

Yellowstone National Park is a wondrous place full of eye-popping scenery and nature's beauty and weirdness. It isn't Disneyworld, however, and they don't coddle their visitors here. You have to walk everywhere, past a lot of boiling, dangerous, smelly places in a high altitude, past buffalo, elk and the occasional hungry bear. It's amazing how idiotic people can be, putting their children within stomping distance of a bison in order to get a snapshot for Aunt Tilly back home. I love the graphics at Yellowstone, warning people not to do stupid things. Boom, there goes a guy flying through the air after being gored by a buffalo. Sizzle, goes a kid stepping in a steaming geyser. We picked up a great souvenir in a Yellowstone gift shop: a book entitled "Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in America's First National Park." It chronicles the 300 deaths in the park since 1870. Check out these chapter titles: "Hold Fast to Your Children: Death in Hot Water," "I Think I Shall Never See: Death from Yellowstone's Falling Trees," "These Animals Are Not Real: The Myth That Can Kill You," "Malice in Wonderland: Yellowstone Murders," and many, many more. Makes for a great read after a long day of sightseeing.

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