America Through My Eyes
Telugu Original : Dr K.Geeta
English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar
The next morning, we prepared hastily to get out of that “mosquito resort”. Lack of time, we didn’t have breakfast there.
Grand Teton National Park: To go to Yellowstone National Park we have to go through “Grand Teton National Park” first. The combined entrance ticket for both is $25 and must be taken once. We went in July, peak summer time. However, the surrounding snow mountains in this Teton were a pleasant sight.
We got thrilled looking at the snow mountains welcoming us like beautiful goddesses, wearing shiny white clothing woven with snow silk and we felt our whole life should be spent there. At some distance, the huge “Lake Louise” was seen by the side of the road. Opposite it, there’s the mountain range, the blue color of the lake that competes with the color of the sky. It is a very beautiful place. Even though it looked like there was no place to park on the side of the road there, we parked our car easily and so we got down there only. The half-hoisted eyes of the green grass plants growing on the edge of the water are altogether amazing to look at. We had to leave without spending too much time. We thought even the great feeling of it may be enough.
We decided to go ahead now and stop at Teton Visiting Center while coming back. We proposed to see at least half of Yellowstone National Park that day. That’s why we spent very little time in Teton Park. We had come all the way to see Yellowstone National Park, and we were all excited to be there on the fourth day after leaving home. The children joyfully shouted “Hurray” when they crossed the Yellowstone entrance gate.
Lewis Falls: A short distance from the entrance is Lewis Falls. They have grown beautifully on the roadside at a very small height. How can anyone avoid stepping toward the flowing water of a brook? The flow of water is like a thin screen of water spread over small pebbles. When I dipped my legs, the children were also joined there. Satya got busy taking various pictures of the waterfall with his newly bought camera. I spent my time wonderfully playing with water as children.
Yellowstone: It was said that this park got its name as the Yellowstone River flows through this National park. About 96% of the park’s territory is in the state of Wyoming, with other small parts in the states of Montana and Idaho. The area of this park is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware in America. Here we can see all the most diverse terrains. On one side, hot springs are gushing out like volcanoes, boiling limestone pits, hot water smoke lagoons in various colors, dense forestry, tall trees, gushing rivers, huge lakes, and waterfalls. On the other side are rocky mountains without a trace of trees. No matter where you step like this, there is something special about it. That’s why people all over the world are eager to visit this national park.
When we come to such national parks, we usually follow the maps given at the entrance. After going some distance, this park splits into two lanes and forms a big circle. Again, it is spread out from the circle in four directions. The two days we had were not enough to see the entire park, which is about 3500 miles in area. At least we need a good plan to see what’s important. We thought a lot and decided to start from the left side first and come around half that day and half the next day.
Grant Village Visiting Center: Before the roads split, there is a Grant Village Visiting Center. We were very hungry as we have not eaten anything since morning, so we stopped at the visiting center restaurant for lunch. We ate sand witches, potato rice and leaves. About half an hour’s drive from there, the largest hot spring called “Old Faithful Geyser” erupts every 90 minutes. The geyser’s boiling time is written there at the visiting center. We got out quickly from there.
Old Faithful Geyser: Now our first steps started by searching the volcanic traces. We were surprised to think that “Old Faithful Geyser” means some kind of hot spring. That place is not indeed “one” spring, a cluster of many springs. And there were from the biggest geysers to the smallest geysers. People were hanging around the railings in a circle. We reached there as the spring was about to blow up within an hour. We have to wrap everything there in that hour, altogether about three or four miles round trip. I stayed there because Siri was stubborn to stay there. We bought a big cup full of ice cream and ate it. Satya and Varu came there hurriedly.
And the time came when the original geyser burst out of the earth and flew into the sky making a loud noise. All the people around were seriously capturing the incredible scene on cameras in that afternoon, watching the showers of water that were about 90 feet high in one gulp. The water springs were divided into the Upper Geyser Basin, Midway Geyser Basin, and Lower Geyser Basin. Now what is said is in the upper region.
Grand Prismatic Spring: From there we left for midway and reached “Grand Prismatic Spring”. There is a road built on top of a hill and a riverbed is flowing along the hill. The hot water channels are burning brightly from the hill and flowing into the river from one side while the cold water is flowing from the upper lands. Most of all, it looks beautiful to the eyes, but the smell of gasses like sulfur is terrible and nauseating everywhere. As we went up the hill we saw the greatest volcanic fumes we had ever seen, the largest thin lagoons with blue and yellow rings on one side, and on the other side a gulf-like pit with billowing white smoke and a boiling gulf below. It seemed as if all the chaotic elements on earth had gathered together and become embellished. I thought this park should be named “Beautiful Chaos” instead of Yellowstone.
Fountain Paint Point: The next visiting point is “Fountain Paint Point” in the lower geyser region. All you have to do is park the car and walk along the thin wooden pathway inside. It looks like it’s just the roadside, but it is not less than a mile and a half. It is already evening. We walked with patience. Limestone was mixed with hot water and boiled in a large earthen pot. It is a kind of quicksand. A few small hot springs. On one hand, the summer sun delayed his set. We have run out of patience. Maybe we should reach the Norris Geyser Basin Junction and see the museum etc.
Artist’s Paint Point: In the middle, we stopped at “Artist’s Paint Point” and decided to leave in a short while. We only learned it would be a wrong decision once we visited there. We started walking along the road expecting that it would be on the roadside as usual. A little further in, we had to walk on a mud path between thick trees. We left Siri free there for a while, who was all the while on the baby cart. That point is about a mile from the road. It was about a mile-and-a-half walk from there and the rest of the way was uphill. I no longer have the patience to walk. And I stopped there with Siri and told them to go and come. For five minutes, I was motionless among the trees, and in the meanwhile suddenly some big mosquitoes swarmed around and started biting us. I ran back to the car because of no option. Already the previous day at dusk in the resort, we had been attacked by those horrible mosquitoes, and now again the terrible mosquito bites. Within five minutes both of us had red rashes from the size of a small coin to the size of a rupee coin. It was surprising whether they were mosquitos or elephants.
In another half an hour Varu and Satya came and showed the photos taken there. There was nothing new or strange about it.
Norris Basin: By the time we reached Norris Basin, the museum was closed. We parked the car and walked two steps ahead. As far as the eye could see, many springs were seen spewing smoke down the mountain valley. We had the illusion of being on another planet. We saw them above and came back.
Canyon Village: By that time we stopped at the places to see and left for our stay. As we booked a month in advance, we got a stay in the park, but we found a different place on the day. That night we stayed at the “Canyon Village” . It’s a very big complex and has a nice room. The three or four available restaurants, a large grocery store, and a gift shop, all are good, but the shops that are already closing hinted that it is better to have dinner than hurry to the hotel as we were tired from a long day’s travel. We walked into a restaurant. I don’t like that menu, I don’t have time to go and think about another one. However, it is difficult to eat something you don’t like, but if you go to the next store, the food choices are even worse. Satya was greatly irritated and walked out in frets and fumes towards the hotel check saying, “You won’t let anyone eat until everything closes, I don’t want food”. Unable to cater to those tired children, I went to the previous hotel and ordered food for the children, and went to call Satya. He didn’t eat properly; indeed nobody ate properly that day. No one knew how we slept soundly after checking in at the hotel. Even though the mosquito bites were hurting me and Siri, we slept. The smells that turn the stomach into nausea in the morning, and not eating at the right time, and the happiness of the evening were in our hearts. We got up early in the morning and get ready for another whirlwind trip to Yellowstone.
(Rest in the next part)
A post graduate in English literature and language and in Economics. A few of my translations were published. I translated the poems of Dr. Andesri , Denchanala, Ayila Saida Chary and Urmila from Telugu to English. I write articles and reviews to magazines and news papers. To the field of poetry I am rather a new face.