Yellowstone. Majestic earth workings of every sort. Power. Everlasting change and evolution. Steaming water, geysers, grand waterfalls, canyons, a deep and wide lake, fumaroles, mud pots, elk, bighorn sheep, grizzlies, black bear, cats, moose, and wolves!! Nine packs of wolves vying for dominance and survival, taking care of their families, broadening their empires. What a vision of nature’s overwhelming diversity and drive for balance. Life to continuing in all its exuberance. There is never enough time to take it all in. I want to return and spend weeks in the Lamar Valley, getting to know the wolves and the landscapes. To become part of it, to know it. Undiminished by the island it has become, it is still becoming. So alive, so magnificent. Mysterious and overwhelmingly powerful.
“A thousand Yellowstone wonders are calling, ‘Look up and down and round about you.”
-John Muir, 1898
“There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”
– President Franklin D. Roosevelt
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“A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable.”
This lake certainly did carry me into impenetrable recesses of feeling! It’s incredible depth carries an equal depth in peacefulness. The blue is otherworldly, the reflected mirror of the sky and clouds serene and beautiful.
At 1,949 feet, it is the deepest lake in the United States, and 7th deepest in the world. The caldera was created when Mount Mazama’s top quarter was blown off in a powerful volcanic eruption and over time it was filled entirely from rain and melted snow. The purity of the water is felt as well as seen.
I loved the feelings accessed here, and just being absorbed by the tranquil quiet of this lake’s shores…
The Columbia River Gorge, bonds Washington and Oregon, and has draped them both with overwhelming power and beauty. And the Gorge and its waters have touched my soul.
I long to spend more time here. There is a depth to be penetrated over time, in the inner and the outer realms. Rich tapestries of greens, radiance of waterfalls, myriad wildflowers, mysterious forests, sumptuous grand canyons, all endlessly beautiful. They touch the deepest part of me.
Every turn holds a wonder – a sometimes quiet and often times shuddering exuberance of majesty. Hidden wonders everywhere waiting to be explored.
Yes, I need more time here.
“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: What is soft is strong.”
“Water is the one substance from which the earth can conceal nothing; it sucks out its innermost secrets and brings them to our very lips.”
A few facts about the Columbia River Gorge (from the website for Foundation for Water & Energy Education; http://fwee.org/environment/what-makes-the-columbia-river-basin-unique-and-how-we-benefit/):
Within the Basin, there are 2,500 square miles of waterways and lakes.
The Columbia River and its tributaries account for about 219,000 square miles of drainage in seven western states.
The Basin consists of the Rocky Mountains to the east and north, the Cascade Range on the west, and the Great Basin to the south.
The Columbia River is the fourth largest river in North America.
The Columbia River originates in British Columbia and flows 1,214 miles to the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon.
The Columbia is fed by a number of major tributaries including the three largest, the Kootenai, the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille and the Snake rivers along with the Payette, the Sultan, the Cowlitz, the Santiam and the Willamette.
The Columbia River is second only to the Missouri-Mississippi River System in terms of annual run-off as the water flows to the Pacific Ocean.