Having driven for miles alongside cattle, ranches and lightly populated areas, the mind shifts with the terrain. The view turns from one Western scene to another. Around each corner, a new postcard. The expectation grows until there, front and center, rest the Grand Tetons.
The peaks display nature’s beauty and force. There is a sense of adventure, and an appreciation for the hardship that comes with traversing mountains. The surrounding area retains its wild side but also is sufficiently tamed for enjoyment by all.
With too little time to fully explore, my trip last week allowed for a couple walks, lunch and a taste that leaves an abundance of future possibilities. The same goes for next-door Yellowstone Park, including a fresh reminder of the excitement around the Old Faithful geyser. We visit these parks with expectations we will enjoy the view. Short walks and long hikes add to the experience.
Other stops on a westward drive included the South Dakota Badlands, Mt. Rushmore and, a few days later, Mt. Rainier. A highlight was a brief chat with author Paul Horsted, promoting his book “Yellowstone Yesterday and Today.”
His approach of finding and researching old photographs, then taking pictures from the same spot to show the impact of time, provides insights on multiple levels. The book answers questions and open the door to new queries. It’s helpful to novice and experienced visitors.
A week in the West brings back good memories of previous travels. It promotes possibilities for return trips.