In Search of Beauty and Knowledge
June 30, 2015
We started off the day with another lecture on animals from our instructor, this time focusing more on the predators that are in the park. The two biggest are the wolf, which has just been reintroduced and the bears which have had a problem with human interaction for a long time.
The wolves had been eradicated and now that they are back they go outside the park and kill live stock. There are only 80-100 in the park but they are spreading over the US from Canada on down.
The bears use to be fed by humans and most ended up hurting a human and had to be put down. Now the saying is “A fed bear is a dead bear.” The feeding has stopped but that does not stop the bears from occasionally wanting a human as a snack. Hence all of the bear spray at $50 a can. Once a bear is sprayed with pepper it takes a righteous path. After that it associates humans with a bad experience and passes this learned behavior on to its young.
After our lecture we loaded into our bus and went off to Yellowstone. Yellowstone is the first national park in the US and probably the world. It is mostly one giant volcano and is still very active. When it erupts again you will know it. “Come visit Yellowstone before it comes visit you.”
Along the way we saw a black bear that did not need seasoning and quite a few bison. There are a lot of animals to be seen in Yellowstone. Our first stop was to look at the caldera and have a box lunch while witnessing the beauty.
We went on to a view point that overlooked the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.
More of the Grand Canyon
We moved on, but our bus developed problems and we had to stop at the Canyon Village visitors’ center while a call went out for repairs. We made the best of the situation and went for a hike to this beautiful waterfall.
After our hike we had dinner at the center and waited for the bus to be fixed. There was no lack of things to see and talk about so the time waiting on the bus went fast.
About 9 PM we were underway again. We didn’t get far before we had to stop for more repairs. We made the best use of the time looking at planets with a scope. Eventually, we made it back to our hotel after 11 PM. We were all beat after a full day.