Tuesday, June 28, 2016


When we first confirmed we were going to take this RV adventure, we set about planning the journey. The first target for the both of us was Yellowstone. Having been there prior, we knew we wanted to make an extended stay at this, our first National Park. Thank you, Ulysses S. Grant. Don't you wish your name was Ulysses? I thought he was cool when I was a kid. He had a good beard.
So it is 1872, and "Uly", as his friends called him, signs it into law. (his detractors called him "Sissies", not a good thing...).  I'm not sure if that part is really true, but it was easy to admire him as a youth. West Point grad, Civil War hero, Great president. Cool looking.
The Act of Dedication, that Grant signed into law, creating Yellowstone as the first park to be owned and managed by our national government, was introduced by separate bills, to the Senate and the House simultaneously in December 1871. There was a significant and fervent movement behind these bills lead by a number of people who had made expeditions to the Yellowstone area. Congress was lobbied well by these proponents meeting with each member and presenting each with a monographed folio containing captioned photos of the thermal features, (now known that Yellowstone has 1/2 of the world's geysers), the landscape and the abundant wildlife. This area of northwest Wyoming, eastern Idaho and southwest Montana was a fertile hunting ground for nomadic Native Americans. It is unclear exactly why, but the area was never inhabited. This is interesting for us just having seen so much of the proof of old cultures that lived in our American Southwest. There is none of that here. It is one of Nature's masterpieces, and She likes it. We can visit and enjoy but do not make it home.
The bills passed easily, the Act was created and the path was easy for Grant. The only odd detractors were some of the era's stuffed shirts who wondered why the government would find value in creating a place primarily for recreation and leisure. Sounds like a fun group to go have a beer with.
So Nature, here we are in your Yellowstone living it for three weeks and paying tribute to your masterpiece.

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