Yellowstone, with grizzly By Scott...

A MEMORABLE PLACE

November 04, 2001|By Special to the Sun

A MEMORABLE PLACE

Yellowstone, with grizzly

By Scott Krieger

SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In early May, my wife and I drove across the country with our daughter to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Kelly had just finished her junior year at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va., and was eager to get to her new summer home, job and adventure at Mammoth Hot Springs in the northern region of the park.

Already suffering from severe separation anxiety, we wanted to spend what little time we could with our first-born child before relinquishing her to the park concessionaire and a new set of friends for the ensuing three months.

After a tremendous amount of time driving and various scenic detours along the way, on the morning of the fourth day we entered Yellowstone through the often snowbound and sometimes treacherous northeast entrance.

After what seemed like only a few miles, the park road opened up into the expansive Lamar Valley, highly regarded for its sweeping plains and abundant wildlife. It wasn't long before we were happening upon large herds of bison and elk and ultimately a young male grizzly bear.

We were captivated for almost an hour as this powerful creature ambled, played and fed along a meandering stream bed. Beginning as a small silhouette on a vast canvas framed by snow-covered mountains, he must have covered several hundred yards before reaching and crossing the road where we had parked. Then, in what seemed like an instant, the bear was gone, disappearing into the thick brush rising above us into the hills.

Yellowstone is a remarkably diverse and beautiful place, complete with world-famous geothermal features, mountains, canyons, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and wildlife.

There is no better place in America to have a camera in your hands and lots of film in your pockets than Yellowstone. The park also offers more than 800 miles of hiking trails, a range of outdoor activities and what may come as a surprise to many: an impressive collection of extremely comfortable and historic lodges and cabins and some very good restaurants.

We had a great trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed everything we discovered in Yellowstone. However, nothing we experienced ever quite compared with that first grizzly bear encounter.

Scott Krieger lives in Bel Air.

MY BEST SHOT

Easter carpet

By Bonnie Hoffman, Portland, Ore.

Easter week in Antigua, Guatemala, is an amazing spectacle and an extravagant celebration. I watched a team of young men detail layer upon layer to create this sawdust carpet. Hours later, little remained of the carpet after the religious procession from the church had passed over it.

READERS RECOMMEND

Key West, Fla.

Phyllis Carson, Parkton

"My husband and I spent a few days in Key West, Fla., in May. One evening, we took a sunset cruise aboard the 130-foot schooner Western Union, built in Key West in 1939. Upon departing from the dock, we helped the crew hoist the sails as the captain (right) navigated along the shoreline and out to sea."

Pompeii, Italy

Alice Horst, Timonium

"My daughter and I traveled by train to Pompeii, Italy, the city buried in lava by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The city was discovered in 1592, but rigorous excavations didn't begin until 1860. We wandered through an unbelievable work in progress. Mosaic floors have been uncovered; paintings have been preserved on walls; the baths, temples and brothels are all there."

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