Yellowstone NP

The Yellowstone Act of 1872 created the world’s first national park. It withdrew more than 2 million acres from sale, settlement, or occupation to be “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Unlike Yosemite, the bill put Yellowstone under federal control because ceding it to either Montana or Wyoming as newly minted states would have likely prompted a high-noon-style duel. The legislation placed the park under the control of the Secretary of the Interior to “provide for the preservation, from injury or spoliation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said park, and their retention in their natural condition.”
Hansen, Heather (2015-10-20). Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service (Kindle Locations 389-392). Mountaineers Books. Kindle Edition.

From trapper Daniel Potts’s letters to his brother, the Gazette of the United States & Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia) printed, “The Yellow Stone has a large fresh water lake near its head on the very top of the mountain, which is . . . as clear as crystal. On the south border of this lake is a number of hot and boiling springs. One of our men visited one of these whilst taking his recreation— there at an instant the earth began a tremendous trembling, and he with difficulty made his escape, when an explosion took place resembling that of thunder.”

It didn’t take long for official talk of preserving Yellowstone to echo in the halls of Congress. Senator Samuel Pomeroy, a Republican from Kansas, got the ball rolling on an otherwise ordinary Monday in December 1871 when he addressed his colleagues, saying, “I ask leave to introduce a bill to set apart a certain tract of land lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone as a public park. It has been ascertained within the last year or two that there are very valuable reservations at the headwaters of the Yellowstone, and it is thought they ought to be set apart for public purposes rather than to have private preemption or homestead claims attached to them.” The big idea was known simply as Senate Bill 392.
–Hansen, Heather (2015-10-20). Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service (Kindle Locations 377-381). Mountaineers Books. Kindle Edition.

Iceland Platinum Circle

 Things I learned in Iceland :


  1.  Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in the world with only 332,000 residents  and over 40,000 mi.²
  2.  Even though its name implies the whole island is covered in ice, the Gulfstream actually provides a temperate climate.  The climate in  Iceland is much like the climate on the Alaskan peninsula even though Alaska is much closer to the equator.
  3. The country runs almost entirely on renewable energy.
  4. The United Nations lists Iceland as the 13th most developed country in the world.
  5.  Thank goodness for tourism to help recover Iceland after it’s 2008 financial problems.
  6.  Iceland is actually below the Arctic Circle.
  7.  Every time you turn a corner in Iceland you either see a volcano,  a waterfall, a river, a lake, or icebergs.
  8.  The Golden Circle is not the circle we drove around the entire island, but instead a much smaller circle quite close to the city of Reykjavík.
  9.  If you do happen to drive all the way to the eastern side of Iceland, there is a wonderful spot to see puffin as shown in my photos.
  10.  I had to look this up, but the really long name of the volcano that  erupted in 2010 and disrupted flights all over Europe is… Eyjafjallajökull.
  11.  The warmest temperature ever recorded is 86.9°F in the coolest is -36.4°F.   Don’t bother packing a bathing suit unless you plan on bathing in hot springs.

Flores, Guatemala

Flores Guatemala is a small island village on Lake Petén in the northern Petén region of thr country. We stayed there on our way back from Tikal.  while I wouldn’t have set out to go there without a trip to Tikal, it is a cute little town with colorful buildings and great sunsets.  The streets are charming and there are pretty sunsets.  We had a great view of Flores from the airplane on our trip from Belize City.