Our summer vacation was extraordinary. I was privileged to visit several places I’ve wanted to see in person since I was a kid in geography class. We traveled by motor coach from Rapid City, SD, to the Little Big Horn battlefield in Montana, to Cody, WY, and on to Yellowstone National Park. Then, we drove through the Tetons to Jackson, WY, and eventually to Salt Lake City. I’d like to share with you some of the places we visited. Don’t worry, I won’t share them ALL. It’s going to be great material for writing devotionals, I think.
Chapel of the Transfiguration, Grand Teton National Park, WY
Near the town of Moose, WY, and inside Grand Teton National Park, is a little log church with a spectacular mountain view. The photo above is what you see from inside the church looking through the window over the altar. In other words, this is the view from the pews. The chapel was built in the early 1900s to give locals a place to worship without traveling 15-20 miles on horseback or by buggy. The church has two services on Sunday mornings in the summer. Weekdays, it’s open for visitors to sight-see or pray. It’s also a popular site for weddings. See more photos and learn more about the church here.
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, WY
There are numerous other geysers in the Great Geyser Basin. Some are larger, while others have hotter water. Old Faithful is the most frequent and dependable, so that’s why it draws the crowds. It was a shock to me to discover how hot the ground is around the geysers. The guide told us not to wear sandals that day and not to step off the boardwalk as we strolled around the geyser field. This is a constant reminder of the seething cauldron below Yellowstone that is capable of blowing the lid off the whole northwest USA. Scary. Link to live webcam here.
Subject of the iconic painting by Thomas Moran, Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon is, well, yellow. I had no idea that the rocks there have a yellow-gold tint due to their iron content. The Native Americans called the Yellowstone River the “river of the yellow rocks.” Who knew? The park service had a virtual tour online, but the link no longer responds. Here’s a link to a photo album.The whole canyon seems to glow with or without sunlight. I wonder if heaven’s golden streets are made out of Yellowstone rock?
During this trip of a lifetime, I often recalled Psalm 95:
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. (KJV) Psalm 95: 3-6.
The deep places, the Yellowstone volcano, as well as the mountains and monuments and battlefields are in his hands. Comforting.
Readers, have you visited these places? What was your takeaway?