This past week, part of the graduate student cohort of Teton Science Schools spent four days in Yellowstone National Park. The trip was filled with wolves, grizzly bears, bison, and breath-taking vistas. The extent of the trip cannot be covered in one post; I will try to give our experience justice through a number of posts. I will start with the end.
On the last day of our trip, we stopped at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Forty-two years ago, Thomas Moran stood on the same ground and created one of his most famous paintings.
At the time, the idea of a National Park was just being created. In fact, it is one of America’s greatest inventions. That a land should be preserved for the common use and enjoyment of the people was a novel idea. Thomas Moran was a full supporter and proponent of the idea, and he created paintings of the American West to inspire people on the East coast to help create the first National Parks. On March 1st of 1872, Ulysses S. Grant signed The Act of Dedication Law which created Yellowstone National Park, the nation’s first National Park.
During my visit to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, my eye was drawn not to the falls, but to the colored canyon walls. The different colors of sedimentary rock created awe-inspiring paintings on the canyon walls.