America Through My Eyes
Telugu Original : Dr K.Geeta
English Translation: V.Vijaya Kumar
We wandered around in the nauseating surroundings the previous day, so I prepared well with the masks for today’s visit, after vacating the lodge where we started. We have to shift to another place in the evening. The daybreak filled us with new spirits vanquishing the controversies of the previous night. The coin-sized rashes of mosquito bites upon Siri and me were still visible.
Today we have to take a trip to the remaining places of Yellowstone.
The next day, we will return home.
The road which leads to the North entrance of the park from our Canyon lodge is divided into two. If we take any one of them, we can return from the other. The one from Norris and the new Dunraven Pass is the other.
We wished we could go by the new Dunraven Pass.
As we had visited the Southern parts the previous day, today we planned to visit the northern side of the park going ahead to the North and while coming back the rest of the places. We bought some bread and fruit for breakfast from the store and started at 10 am.
The northern part of Yellowstone is different from the part we saw yesterday. The green mountains and the white snow caps on the cliffs.
Wherever you see from any of the mountains you could only see valleys and mountains.
As we moved ahead, we passed some flakes of snow by the side of the road.
As it was the first fall of snow that summer, we demanded to go back to that location. When we got there, we found a board that prohibits any stay. We just moved away.
We proceeded further climbing the mountains, feasting on the greenery, taking photos here and there halting our Jeep.
Hanging Valley: We stopped at Hanging Valley on the way and went down a few steps from the roadside.
In the lower part, a waterfall streams down beautifully between two mountains which looks like a plait drawn frontward. If we proceed further, there we can see various mountains beatified by exquisite limestone.
When we took a curve, in the lower part, we feasted our eyes by a river streaming in twirls.
After a few steps forward, there appeared life-size stones like a grand canyon, with barely anything of any greenery.
The northern part of Yellowstone seemed like Yosemite and Grand Canyon threw either side.
Floating Island Lake:
It’s not simply a beautiful small one on the roadside, but Floating Island is a wonderful sight. The reflection of the shadows of the beautiful row of pine trees stood all along like a vigilant army troop on the other bank of the pond, looking like an exquisite painting.
Watching the beauties of “Mount Washburn” all along our trip through the Dunraven, we enjoyed it greatly.
Here and there we saw some elks twisting down their necks and grazing on the meadows while some bison buffaloes lazily napped.
“The Rhine Waterfall” feasted our eyes on our way, cascading between two mountains.
Mammoth: It was noon reaching Mammoth. If we go a little further the northern entrance of Yellowstone appears. This exit opens into Montana State. But we came back from Mammoth. We have to stop for lunch somewhere. Moreover, there are no pretty many things to see.
Mammoth Hot Springs Area:
The only area that can be glimpsed there is the “Mammoth Hot Springs Area.” It’s said that the surface of the land takes new form when the lava bubbles up from the limestone melted underground. One such molten limestone rock is the “Liberty Cape” on the roadside.
People were crowded everywhere. All the restrooms were clustered in only one place. But there was no place around for car parking. As Siri was sleeping I stayed in the car.
They came half an hour late as the herd of bison blocked their way though they could reach here in fifteen minutes.
From there we planned to travel through Norris and had our lunch.
Little Grand Canyon:
We saw a board “Little sized Grand Canyon” in the turning on the way back, and we proceeded inside. We visited a few more on our way and merged into the road after one hour. We can witness how a hill takes its birth watching the thrust of the lava from the layers inside. It’s said that the surface of the area there was once plain. Now it has turned into a hillock.
Everyone feels hungry. We decided to stop on the way wherever we get food.
We will reach Norris junction from there in half an hour. In case any food is not available there we decided to go from where we started in the morning.
But our planning didn’t work out fairly. When we were about to reach Norris in fifteen minutes or so, due to the road construction works and also the blockage of the road by the herds of bison, we were stuck in a traffic jam altogether for one and a half an hour. Satya was driving. We fell asleep though we were hungry. We woke up when the traffic jam cleared. We laughed when we learned that we were still at the same point. Satya was serious and did not laugh.
There was nothing but a gift shop at Norris to eat anything. We have no option except that village from where we started in the morning. We reached the hotel at 3. pm. Everyone lost their appetite. We had some soup, corn, and ice cream.
We had to reach the Southern Lake Village for the night stay. Approximately there would be twenty miles between the Canyon Village and Lake Village. By the end of the day, in two to three hours we have to complete the sights that we come across on our way. The children were very cheerful after eating the ice cream.
Those sights which we reserved to visit after the meal indeed were unforgettable memories. Not only for that day but perhaps, for the whole Yellowstone trip.
On the way, we watched the Yellowstone River flowing below. It’s vehemently flowing sliding the edges of the mud valleys. In those surroundings, we remembered the Grand Canyon very often. Though the river seemed very near to us sometimes, it suddenly vanished into valleys somewhere away.
Soon it travels alongside the road with us. It’s a great pleasure to follow the course and chit chatting with the river like a co-passenger.
Volcanic Landscape :
We watched those boiling mud ditches near the Volcanic Landscape on the way. When we stopped our car at the Sulfur Cauldron and mud volcano there was an unbearable filthy smell. We saw those places away from there, closed our noses, and fled back.
Though I didn’t eat anything since morning, I felt nauseating and started vomiting. In addition, the previous day’s mosquito bites began to show their effect.
We visited Yellowstone lake at 5 pm passing through the Lake Village. Lake Village is a large pure water pond spread over a 20 miles area, above the 7700 feet to the seashore.
As we came there late, that too, at the end of the day, share boats were closed.
We hired a self-driving boat made of aluminum sheets altogether as big as a big car. When Satya was about to take out the boat from the jetty he suddenly baffled and geared it in reverse. The boat sped speedily back and collided with another one on the shore.
The boatman who hired us suddenly looked at our boat and rushed back from the other bank. Satya proposed to get back leaving the boat.
But I don’t like this proposal after paying a hundred dollars fare. So I resumed steering and proceeded. They suggested not going to the middle or beyond the orange cones. There was a culvert somewhere very near the jetty. When we crossed the culvert and proceeded a little further, big waves started suddenly.
When I felt I was losing control over the steering I turned back.
When we came back to the culvert Satya took over the steering and sped towards the waves again. Though I shouted aloud not to go, he didn’t hear me and he proceeded further and further, feeling it an adventurous feat. The lake was ferocious all along further, with big waves. I felt manipulated. Moreover, when we were crossing the culvert, there was an instruction written not to adventure into the waters, as there may be danger of death from the freezing temperature of the water in the pond.
Children were enthusiastic to drive more speedily, not aware of the things there. I didn’t spare until I took over the steering from him and resumed the normal speed. Though we somehow got back in half an hour to the bank I couldn’t control my shivering. It was a formidable experience on the trip.
We refreshed in the nice Lake lodge room and had our meal in the adjacent restaurant. The sunny day of the long summer is still bright outside. We liked the Lake lodge visiting center greatly.
The sunset was wonderful over the Lake. But we didn’t dare to spend much time open out of the fear of mosquito bites.
After fulfilling a long-time dream of visiting Yellowstone park, we were about to move the next day. The pungent formidable smells of sulfur and the freezing chilly waters of the roaring waves and the dreadful mosquitos! Except for these few unsolicited experiences Yellowstone left with unforgettable memories of its varied diversity of landscapes.
We retired to sleep early, as some sightseeing places in Tatan Park on our way back were still due for the next day.
(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.