Liane's First Blog from Yellowstone National Park! : Soapbox Weekend Edition Sunday Host Liane Hansen is at Yellowstone National Park working on a series of stories for September. Read her first blog!
NPR logo Liane's First Blog from Yellowstone National Park!

Liane's First Blog from Yellowstone National Park!

Liane Hansen Host, Weekend Edition Sunday

I am on the road at Yellowstone National Park for a series that will air in September. This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the massive 1988 fires in Yellowstone, which burned close to 800,000 acres in the park and almost 700,000 acres outside the park. I'm sending a few blog posts while I'm on the road. Here is my first one:

We arrived at Yellowstone Monday night. The flights were uneventful, except a cat in the carrier under Producer Laura Krantz's seat pooped. The scent lasted until Denver.

For a self-described city slicker, I'm used to tall buildings but the majesty of the Teton mountains is jaw dropping. There is still snow on the peaks, and the sky changes with the sunlight and clouds every minute. After a dinner with Laura's parents, Louise and Chip, at the Jackson Inn, with Ansel Adams' views of the mountain, we headed off into Yellowstone. There are bear warnings everywhere, and rumors of elk and moose, but the only wildlife we encountered was a squirrel. That's a good first step for me.

Yellowstone Park is actually the mouth of a dormant volcano. That explains the geyser basins. We didn't get to see them until we crossed the Continental Divide. Three times. The winding roads follow deep canyons cut by rivers, tall lodgepole trees with their crowns of evergreen, and grand lakes that act as mirrors, reflecting the landscape. The plumes of steam can be seen at a distance. Up close, well, from the side of the road, they look like the sidewalks of New York City, when steam is escaping from the subway below. Didn't smell sulphur, yet. Along with way, we also saw the reason we are here. Tall stands of white/gray lodgepole pines - but no evergreen. Laura says they are called ghost trees.

Today, we set off to learn more about the eco-system of the Park. I'm going to try to not be too obvious as the Eastern greenhorn I am. I'm tempted to buy a cowboy hat. And am always in search of a beaded belt - but - it has to cost less than $10, and must say YELLOWSTONE.

By the way, Laura's mom packed us some snacks. A picnic basket!!!!

P.S. Photos to come soon!

AND Good Luck Robert Smith (he's Guest Hosting while I'm away)

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