Devils Tower National Monument

For my fellow nerds, the first thing we need to talk about is what we’re actually looking at, because despite widespread agreement on the basics, geologists still aren’t exactly sure about the specifics when it comes to how this tower formed (and no, it’s not hollow.) There is agreement that the tower is composed of an igneous rock (meaning it was once lava or magma) … Continue reading Devils Tower National Monument

Cody, Wyoming

Cody is a small town, but big enough to offer all of the services you’d expect in a medium sized city, with lots of entertainment, dining and lodging options. Just 50 miles from the East entrance to Yellowstone (a stunningly beautiful drive), with an altitude below 5,000 feet, it’s a perfect place to stop for a few days to rest and regroup if you are … Continue reading Cody, Wyoming

Plains Indian Museum

The story of the native people of the American plains is epic, and still unfolding today. This museum does a great job of providing a basic overview of the complex network of tribes, with exhibits that highlight their cultures, their traditions, their spiritual perspectives and values, and provides some context of their lives today. The label of “Plains Indian” is a rather broad brush to paint … Continue reading Plains Indian Museum

Draper Natural History Museum

This is a fascinating museum that focuses on the natural history of the area around Yellowstone National Park. The exhibits are filled with the artistry of talented taxidermists. This would normally not be my thing, at all, but here the preserved animals are presented in a way that helps visitors understand how the whole ecosystem fits together. Famous animals are also preserved here, along with … Continue reading Draper Natural History Museum

Yellowstone National Park: Part 2 – A Wildlife Scavenger Hunt

One of the most exciting things about Yellowstone for me, was that while I was wandering among the cool geothermal features, I was also wandering among big, impressive wildlife.  I found it amusing to see the signs notifying visitors that bison have the right of way on boardwalks, but when a one ton animal casually walked up onto the path and stood there looking at … Continue reading Yellowstone National Park: Part 2 – A Wildlife Scavenger Hunt

Yellowstone National Park (Part 1: Exploring a Volcano)

I could easily spend an entire month wandering around this massive park, exploring both the wildlife and the fascinating geothermal features that draw life from sitting atop a large super volcano, a massive magma reserve below.  It was vaguely discomforting to know that is what’s behind all of the bubbling, steaming, and spouting water features, but since scientists don’t expect another eruption for the next … Continue reading Yellowstone National Park (Part 1: Exploring a Volcano)

Grand Teton National Park

Anyplace where I can see moose, elk, bison, eagles and either a very large coyote or possibly a wolf, all within a single day, is definitely a place I want to hang out for a while. I had seen the photos of Oxbow Bend, and the Grand Teton peaks, but I wasn’t prepared for the dramatic imposing scale of these mountains as they seem to … Continue reading Grand Teton National Park