Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Fading Pictures

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

We crossed the 45 degree latitude line yesterday and now find ourselves midway between the North Pole and the Equator. The morning temperature is just above freezing. The elevation is above 7,000 feet. It should be a cool afternoon.

A herd of about 50 elk moved down from the hills and walked though our campsite as we pulled into camp. They included a large number of nursing calves.

The elk have no fear of humans. They ignored us completely as they moved slowly down the hill. We might have been just ghosts for all the notice we received.

Yellowstone is centered on a gigantic caldera which accounts for the many boiling springs, geysers and steaming fumaroles.

When the Yellowstone supervolcano blows, some estimates are that all human life within a 500 mile radius will be extinguished. I discuss this with Mrs. Phred and we both figure, “What are the odds?” and “It probably wouldn’t hurt much.”

We might spend a few days here before moving south to the Grand Teton National Park. Our last visit to Yellowstone was with our 8 year old son. I keep a picture of him in the wildflowers near Yellowstone Lake on my desk when I have one. It’s faded a little in 30 years.

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