Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Yellowstone should be destination for all people of the Cowboy State

 


Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park has been in the news a lot lately, and, indeed, it should be.

I took the liberty here to call this park “Wyoming’s” but the reality is that this wonderful place belongs to the world. I happen to think it is the most amazing place on the entire planet.

And what a gift to all of us Wyomingites that it is located right here in our great state.

Most of you know that I travel the state giving talks about my coffee table books. One of the places featured a lot in those books is Yellowstone. I refer to it often.

It is baffling to me when Wyoming folks come up after my talks and mention they have either never been to Yellowstone or it has been a decade or longer since their last visit.

Since I live just 100 miles from the park, it is easy for me to get there at least once a year and that has always been my goal.

Last year, I went there three times and could not have been happier.

Long-time married folks might appreciate the humor in the following: During our third trip there, I took a photo of my wife Nancy in front of Old Faithful. The caption was: “Old Faithful. Just think, three times in one year.” Other marathon married couples can appreciate the humor of that caption, which several of my friends coyly inquired about. Oh well.

In my second Wyoming-themed coffee table book, called MY WYOMING, we included an amazing story about a scalded bison being pursued down a road by a hungry grizzly. The photos and story by Duke Wypyszinski were amazing.

My business Facebook page is Wyoming Wonders: Books and News by Bill Sniffin. We ran that photo of the scalded bison being chased by that grizzly and it received an amazing 305,000 views worldwide. The most views I had ever scored up that point were 37,000. Just shows the power of Yellowstone.

Last month, the park was in the news because of the crazy antics of Canadian tourists, who seemed to be in the wrong places at the wrong times.

First one was about the guy who loaded up a cold, wet, shivering bison calf into his SUV and hauled it to the ranger station as part of his rescue plan.

The Canadian ended up getting fined and reprimanded. This event was a sensation worldwide, made all the TV shows and got millions of views on Social Media.

Worst news was that when the rangers tried to put the calf back with the herd, the bison rejected it. So the rangers killed it.

Again, the outcry was deafening. It seems that a huge number of our park visitors think Yellowstone is not wild. I always try to remind my children and grandchildren that nature is a very cruel place. No animals in nature ever die of old age.

Some nut case Canucks who called themselves High on Life then were featured internationally videoing themselves in Yellowstone. The images showed them running across the thin surfaces above the hot springs at Grand Prismatic Spring, the single most beautiful place on earth. This very fragile ecosystem features many signs warning folks to stay off the thin crust for two reasons: first, please do not damage it and second, if you fall through it might just scald you to death.

Well these idiots frolicked around on the crust and then took the photos and videos and published them all over the planet.

Rangers tried to catch them but they escaped back to Canada. Since it was a misdemeanor, it is not practical to extradite them.

Not sure why this irritated me so much, but it is hard to stomach seeing someone desecrate your favorite place. And do it with such a horrible disregard for the value of the resource and even the value of their own skins.

Earlier in this column, I mentioned that nature is cruel and dangerous.

Not long after the Canadians idiocy, an American woman was struck and killed by a motorist in the park as she was running across the road to take a photo of an eagle.

So sad. If you go to Yellowstone, please be careful. It is not a petting zoo.

And if you have trouble getting rooms in the park, be sure to check out the wonderful cities and towns around Yellowstone. The folks there will love to host you.

Check out Bill Sniffin’s columns at http://www.billsniffin.com. He is a longtime Wyoming journalist from Lander who has written six books. His newest is “Wyoming at 125,” which is now on sale at fine bookstores. His books are available at http://www.wyomingwonders.com.

 

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