Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost


Shannon and the Grand Tetons

My wife and I were less than 60 miles from one of the world’s most scenic places, but didn’t go.

Less than 60 miles.

What were we thinking?

I’ve never been one to follow the big crowds, and I don’t do things just because they’re popular. To that end, sometimes I’m so stubborn I avoid something I might actually like. It’s true that the vapid often gets more than its share of attention, but occasionally something is popular because it’s really frickin’ cool to most people. I still allow myself to think I’m not like “most people,” and I could argue that recent posts here prove that (for better or worse).

But, boy oh boy, am I kicking myself for this one.

(clicking the pictures will not do much in this time)

Shannon and downtown Lander, Wyoming.

We were in western Wyoming for a week to celebrate our ninth tenth anniversary. I was determined to avoid the crowds and see things the average tourist never sees. The altitude crushed my dreams of backpacking to remote locales; the first trail we hiked started at 9,300 feet and went almost straight up.

Not good for two born-and-bred Arkansans who, I’ll admit, weren’t in good shape despite their slender physiques.

What would have been the perfect thing to make up for that? Oh, I don’t know… going to arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world? In a car. With no hiking.

Let’s break down some facts about Yellowstone National Park:

  • largest National Park in the lower 48 states
  • home to more than half of all geysers in the world
  • features waterfalls that will knock your socks way off
  • grizzlies and bison and moose, oh my!

Its explosive underpinnings notwithstanding, Yellowstone sounds like an absolute wonder to behold.

We were at Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone’s southerly neighbor, but I didn’t want to do what everybody else was doing. Nope, can’t do that. Didn’t want to say, “Me, too! Me, too!”

Don’t get me wrong — we had a great time and I wouldn’t change it. That said, I’m going back some day, come what may, to Yellowstone National Park.


Before that, however, we’re headed west again, this time for New Mexico. I’ll post photos here as soon as I can.

In the meantime, below is one I snapped on the drive from Lander to Dubois. Click here to see all of our 2002 Wyoming trip. Does it include Shannon sitting on a Jackalope? Have I ever let you down?


(update: The trip above was our 10th anniversary. Our ninth is here.)

13 Responses to Yellowstonewall

  1. Um, that would have been our TENTH anniversary, babe.

    Now we just have an excuse for another trip someday – don’t sweat it. What we saw was beautiful and we had a great time, right?

  2. I’m with you on that fad avoidance thing, Mark. I’ve discovered many a movie, book, or band much later than I should have out of some stubborn refusal to join the crowd. Silly high school definition of individuality still lingering in my brain somewhere.

    I love that you told us clicking wouldn’t help with the picture of Lander…but you still went ahead and made it a clickable link…cuz you knew we’d still click it ;)

    Also…I’m assuming the comment above is Shannon…otherwise, um…perhaps this vacation is a bit overdue, yes?

    (this added by Mark — MG, yes, it was Shannon, so I changed it for her. Dang auto-fill burned her on that one)

  3. I am exactly like you and Mokker in that respect, in fact I will go out of my way to the opposite end of the spectrum. Usually it works to my advantage, but like you, sometimes it bites you in the butt.
    Great pictures. My goodness Shannon, you’re looking younger all the time. You got a secret???
    Glad you had a great anniversary.

  4. I would love to go there…what beautiful country! :) It is my favorite thing in the world….traveling with my better half! Afterall (as HE would say), I need someone to carry my lenses!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  5. I went on an expensed business trip to Yellowstone where no business was discussed. Hiked, fished, rafted, soaked in springs and partied like I was twenty-one even though I was forty. Best trip ever, even got a shot of a mother bear and cub during our hike. (Taken while quickly making an exit to safer ground.)

    Can’t wait to back someday.

  6. I think Yellowstone is a must-see for anyone who really appreciates nature. Not that I know from experience, but that’s what I’ve seen from the pictures that everyone has shown me. :-)

    You can see waterfalls, mountains, and all sorts of cool things right here in Arkansas. But…you can’t see any geysers!!

    I just recently had a “listen to the masses” reminder as well. I guess because I always sort of saw Rob Thomas as somewhat of a prima Donna (sp?), I never really opened up to Matchbox 20. I just recently got a copy of the first two CD’s, and they really have some good stuff.

    See ya soon…if you get this before I see you.

  7. I am heading to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone with our camera club in September. That will be my second visit. You almost need a week in Yellowstone by itself. We spent one day.

    I agree with your premise though in that I like to see things most of the other people don’t go too. If you ever get the chance, go to Crater of the Moons in Idaho. It is west of Idaho Falls. You have to go through some Atomic testing place. I always wondered why the car glowed after that! Also ate at the Atomic Cafe somewhere along that route.

  8. I betcha Yellowstone is the largest park in the lower 49 states. Seeing as how the park is bigger that Hawaii itself, which is technically lower than all the other states. Just sayin’.

    A very happy ninth, er… tenth anniversary to you too. Very beautiful place to spend it.

  9. I apologise for the lameness of that last comment. I was rushed and still wanted to say something. I usually prefer the eye-rolling aspect of my comments to be intentional, but in this case, looking back now, all I see is the obligation with none of the heart. My bad.

    Enjoy the rest of your time away from the homestead. I really mean that; I’m not just trying to say something for the sake of typing more words down. Just to take up space. Like what I’m doing now.

  10. Happy Belated Anniversary both of you!

    Looks like you had a good time… though, sometimes, you do just have to do the “touristy” kinds of things.

    Imagine visiting Paris, and never going up in the Eiffel Tower, or visiting the Louvre.

  11. Wow, this is a really long time for Mark to let all these comments go by without addressing them. He and Shannon must be having one helluva celebration. Hope so, anyway.

  12. I would love to answer everybody personally, but I’m huddled over my laptop, parked on the south (?) side of the Red River (New Mexico) Public Library. Free wireless here.

    I read everybody’s comments and felt the need to clear up something.

    The trip pictures in this post are from our 10th anniversary trip — back in August 2002.

    While we are indeed in the Rockies right now, we’re nowhere near where the above events occurred. We are on a family trip with my folks and (soon, we hope), my brother and his family.

    Large, vicious dogs and a state-of-the-art security system with frickin’ laser beams protect our house right now (you know, just in case anybody gets any bright ideas).

    (This is here just to add more parentheses to this comment.)

  13. I’ve been to Wyoming twice, and it’s literally my favorite place on Earth. (Although I haven’t been everywhere, I am certain this is true.) =) I also must say that Yellowstone needs several days – I did it in 2 days and it still wasn’t enough. I am much more partial to Grand Teton National Park. The magesty of those peaks is absolutely unparallelled. I can’t look away from them when I’m there.


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