Tag archives for Wyoming

Meet Wyoming’s Bighorn

“Everything’s better in the mountains. Chicken soup, coffee with the grounds in it. It’s just better up here.” Scott Schroder has spots of gray in his big red beard, and wet pants. That’s only because he decided against waders and is walking in jeans through the knee-deep South Fork of the Tongue River. He’s leading…

The geologist hands me a homemade brownie wrapped in a clear baggie, then points across my lap and out the window. “This glacial environment makes up one of the nicer outwash plains we have. See that line of cobbles? Then a dip, and another line of cobbles? That’s where one of the braided streams went through…

Lyrically, “America the Beautiful” covers “sea to shining sea,” but at its heart it’s about where prairies and mountains meet. Katharine Lee Bates, a schoolteacher-poet from Massachusetts, wrote it in 1895, after a trip up Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, where she looked east over the plains and soon found herself reaching for a pen.…

I’ve been deported before— There was that Chili’s in college where the manager asked my friends and I to leave immediately . . . and then there was that small middle-eastern nation with its humorless dictator, whose border agents informed me that I had been blacklisted—should I attempt to return, I would be barred entry.…

Every second of travel comes down to a decision—to stop and get out of the car, or to carry on, foot pressed hard on the pedal, to the destination we first had in mind. I was doing fifty when I saw the small cabin at the edge of the road, prim and square, with windows…

It snowed on the night I arrived in Grand Teton. The next morning, on the last day of September, the wall of mountains simply disappeared into whiteness, and as I hiked through the sagebrush, my face tingling with falling drops of ice, I sent this tweet: big snowstorm overhead/ mountains melt into heaven/ the sky…

Preserve the Parks

My very first travels, ever, were family vacations. Every summer, my parents would pile all of my brothers and sisters into our van and then head west for weeks on end. I learned quickly that “travel” meant three things—enduring Nebraska, visiting national parks, and surviving on Nature Valley granola bars. I remember so well how…

Sixty-six below zero. That’s the coldest temperature ever recorded in Yellowstone: -66ºF at Madison, near the park’s west entrance at West Yellowstone, Montana. How cold is that? Cold enough to break the thermometer that made the measurement back in 1933. It was fitting then, that we should stop at this momentous site for a break…

Buffalo Jam

Never mess with a bison. Scientifically speaking, North America’s largest mammal may be just another bovine and therefore related to cows, however bison are not docile farm beasts that give us milk and butter. No, bison are hefty, undauntable creatures that are strong enough roll your car, should they ever have such an interest. Fortunately,…

Hot Spot

When I was 13 years old, I almost won the National Geographic Bee for the state of Ohio. In other words–I lost. I came mighty close though, and even now, I can remember all the questions I got right, as well as the one I got wrong. Sometime during those nervous hours standing on that…