That's what two snowboarders said as they passed us coming down from Beehive Basin, a beautiful hike right next to Big Sky, MT. What started out as a hike in 45 degree weather with 1-2 inch, melting slush off the trail slowly morphed into over a foot of snow at the lake itself with temps in the upper 20s. Not that we weren't prepared (except that we need to waterproof Ethan's hiking shoes), but the difference was startling. The low pressure that
Yellowstone National Park is hard to put into one category as it is such a diverse place, but the key point is that it is a place where you can see both what we consider timeless and the concept of ever-present change at the same time.
plowed into this section of Montana and Yellowstone gave us four days of low temperatures in the upper 20s and highs barely reaching 40. Luckily for us, we were staying at Peter and Carol Mathieson's house in Big Sky which meant that we had an amazingly cozy place to rejuvenate after the day's adventures.
Driving through miles of new forest that has been growing since the 1988/1989 fires, learning about steady versus unpredictable geysers, and delving deeper into the debate surrounding the reintroduction of wolves, you sense the true dynamic of Yellowstone: a microcosm of our relationship with nature. Through a glimpse into the origin of life on our planet with thermophilic archaea and understanding our current struggle to repair the ecological damage, preserve and even 'rewild' areas of the Earth, we realize that we truly are part of nature itself and that healthy ecosystems benefit us all.
Now (Sept 20th) we're heading down to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson, Wyoming to meet up with John Williams. The weather has changed again and predicted temperatures are to be in the 60s and even 70s with clear skies. As we drove through Yellowstone again, the beauty of the park hit us again in a 'different' light.