Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Dragon’s Breath and Small Towns

The last few days have gone much too quickly, as the scenes have passed the car window.  Fumaroles and steep snow covered mountains have given way to rolling pine covered hills and a new town.  The parks are overwhelming in their grandeur.  The vast sizes of the landscape, where the next turn shows something new and then the next and the next, quickly has become overwhelming for me.  Sitting at Jenny Lake, watching the clear water lap against the rocky shore, and listening to the quiet of the place, I have felt completely overwhelmed as the thought occurs to me, if this is earth – what must heaven be like?
From the quiet of a lake shore to the fumaroles area of a Dragon’s Breath, I was fascinated by the steam moving against the cavern walls with such power that it created powerful waves.  An eco-system in a microcosm exists as the water is pushed out and then is distributed through a series of small chambers and caverns, filling small pools and then draining them.  They are left steaming from the scalding liquids and receiving another layer of mineral wash.  The sound of the water and steam sounds like a heart-beat.  It is as if the earth itself is opening a portal to hear her heart beat, slow and steady.

Leaving the caldera of Yellowstone, we moved through a series of small towns across Wyoming.  It was great to see towns, ranging from a population of around twenty five to nearly thirty thousand, spring up against the cattle dotted landscape.  So many little towns, remaining unknown to the majority of us, are scattered across the country.  They are a back bone of the country, in providing a variety of crops and products.  We saw production areas of benzonite and coal mines.  Cattle grazed among petroleum pumps with herds of antelope.  Beautiful horses ran down a sage covered slope, tossing their heads in the wind.  Post Offices, a restaurant, and  a city hall become the main features in the small areas.  Sometimes, they are all combined into one spot.  A really inventive entrepreneur combined a coffee shop and auto place.  I thought that was pretty well thought out, enjoy your coffee while you wait for an oil change.  Rivers and streams cut through land, helping to feed fields of potatoes and other crops. 

Oh beautiful land, I cannot wait to see what is along the next corner.