Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

While in Hot Springs, several people said, “You’ve got to go to Crystal Bridges.” I had no idea what they were talking about but they said it was an art museum that featured the art collection of Alice Walton. It didn’t even ring a bell who she is. But, I looked it up and we decided that we did, indeed, need to stop in Bentonville, Arkansas to visit Crystal Bridges.

Alice Walton, the daughter of Sam Walton, who was the man who started Wal-Mart, has loved art all her life and began collecting it as a young girl. Finally, in 2011, she opened Crystal Bridges which houses part of her vast collection. The public is invited to enjoy her American art for free! The architecture itself is a work of art and was explained by a tour guide.

This photo shows a sketch that the architect made on a napkin to give Alice Walton an idea of his vision. I find these quick sketches that artists do fascinating.

He nailed it!

The gardens were beautiful as well and there are many hiking paths that include sculptures to enjoy along the way. We enjoyed going into the geodesic dome. Great selfie opportunity!

See the little people inside? It was big.

And Matt got a great bear hug.

And found a guy he tried to cheer up.

We showed up at just the right time. There was a display of the work of Chihuly. His blown glass sculptures are amazing.

Alice Walton bought and moved a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright. I love touring his houses!

I saw several quotes on this excursion that I loved. Here is one of them.

After enjoying the grounds, we made our way inside. I just know I could spend several days viewing all the art inside the beautiful museum. In my lifetime, I have not been to that many art museums and I’m making up for it now. It is intriguing, the whole idea of art. What makes something art? Why would people care about and pay money for some “art”. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but some art puzzles me. Here are some of the pieces that I enjoyed.

“Kindred Spirits” by Asher Brown Durand. Matt decided that this was his favorite piece in the whole museum. I loved it too! Later, I looked it up and found out that Alice Walton spent $35 million on just this one painting. Again, I was amazed that she shared such a wonderful treasure with us!

Famous portrait of George Washington by Charles Willson Peale

Mrs. Theodore Atkinson Jr. by John Singleton Copley

I’m amazed at how he painted the fabric in this painting. I studied it for quite some time since I am working on a rug hooking piece that includes clothing.

Landscape by Mark Tansey

The Big Black Bang by Ghada Amer

I asked one of the people working there if there were any fiber arts in the exhibit. They told me there was a quilt, but that’s it. We need more hooked art pieces in museums! Maya’s Quilt of Life by Faith Ringgold

Time by Max Ferguson What amazing detail!

Circle of Flowers by Alma Thomas

Self-portrait with Drawing by David Bates

Coca-Cola by Andy Warhol

Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell

Florida Mexicana by Alfredo Ramos Martinez

Jimson Weed by Georgia O’Keeffe

A New Jersey Village by Bluemner

Summertime by Mary Cassatt

View Near Polling by William Merritt Chase. I find that I love paintings of sheep now that I use wool all the time in my rug hooking.

Arboretum By Flashbulb by Stuart Davis

Another quote that I thought was perfect.

Inspired is how I felt after going to Crystal Bridges. And thankful that Alice Walton has shared her love of art with us all. We found out that there is the Wal-Mart museum nearby too. The Waltons sound like wonderful people. I loved the quote that Alice’s mother, Helen, is known for. They are words I want to live by too.

Finally, Matt and I took THE BEST SELFIE EVER!

Hot Springs, Arkansas

A new state to add to our map!

As we were packing up to leave Hot Springs, Arkansas, I said to Matt, “It’s hard to leave. I was starting to feel settled in. I know where the laundromat is and where to shop. I found the post office. We made friends and I have a rug hooking group. It’s amazing how much can happen in a week!” Well, actually, I guess it was two weeks, but we sure did a lot! First we went into the town of Hot Springs to find out what it was all about.

Hot water bubbles through the surface of the earth. At some places it is 143 degrees! See all that steam?! Then we toured the visitor center for the national park which just happens to be in an old bath house.

The antiquated equipment was interesting and some looked downright scary! But overall, they had facilities to do the same things we do today: baths, massage, hair styling and a work out room. There were several places throughout the town where you could fill water jugs with the water. It is safe, and good, to drink. Here is Matt filling the one bottle we had with us with hot water. It was very good tasting.

The next day, we decided to see a chapel in the area. Anthony Chapel is part of the Garvan Woodland Gardens. You can visit the chapel for free and that is all we intended to do. What a gorgeous place to pray. I love windows, and this chapel was just about all windows!

We almost didn’t pay to see the gardens. I kept thinking that it couldn’t be very fun at this time of year. Surely it was best in the spring and summer when flowers would be out. But, we decided to chance it anyway and we are so glad we did.

There actually were some flowers out at Garvan Woodland Gardens. But what we enjoyed was the lovely walk in the woods. It wound beautifully around a creek and over to views of a lake.

The bridges were beautiful. The whole walk was rejuvenating.

Another day we took a drive through the Ouachita National Forest. Matt found a “drive” on the internet and we followed it’s instructions. There were supposed to be signs along the way where you could stop at interesting things. Well, the drive was great and we loved it! We had a difficult time finding most of the signs though. Later we found out that the information he had found was old and apparently not up to date. At this stop along the road, we were to observe how the earth swirled and therefore how the mountains in the area were formed. There just happened to be a geocache there too. He had to watch out for a hornets nest.

While on that drive, we found out that the area was known for quartz crystals! One of the places we stopped had us walk for a mile straight up a mountain. What a climb! It took us to a place that used to be a quartz mine and you could look for crystals. We found where people had dug and also some large rocks with quartz veins, but nothing worth keeping.

I’m glad we just made it back down the mountain. The path was rocky and we kept slipping. Thankfully, we didn’t get hurt. But I love rocks and gems. You know…jewelry maker and all… And I looked on the internet and found out there were several places to look for quartz crystals in the area. One was a mine where you could pay a fee and dig in their scrap pile all day. So, we went to Ron Coleman’s mine and dug in drizzly, 46 degree weather all day long.

At first we dug holes in the dirt and really didn’t find anything. Then I decided to start rolling over large rocks.

We found some lovely crystals and clusters!

We had lots of other pieces but settled on these few to keep with us. When we sold our house and got rid of our stuff, I had boxes of rocks to throw away that I have collected in various places. Just like Lucy in “The Long, Long Trailer.” I can’t allow myself to collect rocks again. I sure want to though.

One day while driving around, Matt said, “Wait. Arkansas. Whetstones are from Arkansas!” He loves sharpening knives and had a whetstone from Arkansas. So, I looked it up and sure enough, we were in the prime area for whetstones. There was a place only 20 minutes from us called, Dan’s Whetstone, so we drove out to it. We didn’t realize we were going to where they produced the whetstones. After speaking with the very gracious people there for awhile, they offered to take us on a tour of the facility! This saw was room sized!

Mary gave us an informative tour about how they bring the stone, novaculite, from their mine and then carefully cut, polish and grade it.

It is a major production!

The folks at Dan’s Whetstone were super nice and interested in us too. In fact, when they heard that I made jewelry, they invited us back for me to show them. They enjoyed doing their Christmas shopping and we loved visiting with them again. Several people mentioned that Arkansas was a place to mine for diamonds too. So, off we went.

People find diamonds there everyday. At least, that is what they tell me. We were faced with a huge area that is periodically tilled up. You can see here a building that was built years ago when they tried to mine the diamonds commercially. It didn’t pan out.

My husband is a very patient man and he stayed all day digging buckets of dirt, hauling it to the sluice area, using screens to rinse the dirt from the gravel and then searching the gravel for bits of diamond the size of a head of a pin.

 

No diamonds for us. Maybe if I had stayed there with him and worked all day we would have found some. I must admit to leaving him there and shopping in the town square nearby. Now that was more fun!

Just had to share this next photo. My dad’s name is Burl and you don’t find many Burls around. So when we saw this sign, we just had to stop.

It was quite the place and Matt had fun sharing stories with this character.

One more special thing happened in Hot Springs. I decided to see if there were any rug hooking shops in the are. I needed more wool! And I found Aileen Anderson of Bear Creek Studio. She invited me to her lovely home to shop. We hit it off immediately and I stayed for four hours. Such fun! Later, she invited me back for a hooking time with her gals. Aileen showed us how to make poinsettia pins.

So, yes, we loved Hot Springs, Arkansas. And it wasn’t just for the fascinating hot water seeping from the ground. No, it was for the people. I almost felt like they adopted us. And I hope we see them again!

Natural Bridge to Nashville

After leaving Ohio, we drove to Stanton, Kentucky. We’ve decided we really like that area. So beautiful and full of parks and places to hike.  We almost didn’t find a campsite in the area, but I’m so glad we did! I wanted to see the Natural Bridge. I thought that was the only “bridge” in the area, but there are several. These arches have formed naturally in the stone.

We took the original trail to the Natural bridge which is the easiest. Now don’t suppose that means it is easy! No, it was quite strenuous. I’m glad we didn’t take any of the other trails.

The beauty of the area was wonderful.

We did make it to the Natural Bridge. Fascinating!

Then we hiked to the top to walk over the bridge and view the scenery. Matt has a terrifying habit of getting close to the edge and leaning over to look down.

While in the area, we took several drives in Daniel Boone National Forest. What a beautiful place! The roads were very narrow and often dirt. It was a bit interesting driving on switchbacks in the mountains with a long bed dually truck. Thankfully, there wasn’t too much opposing traffic! We did go through a tunnel that was one lane and we barely had room for the fat back end of our truck. I think I held my breath all the way through.

We stopped at one point for Matt to climb a rock. I didn’t join him in this activity. 

One of the other arches we saw was the Rock Bridge Arch. Beautiful spot! This “bridge” is the only one with water running beneath it.

We almost hated to leave Kentucky, but knew there were more things to explore ahead of us. We decided to stop for a bit near Nashville, Tennessee. We ate at an Aquarium restaurant. I was pretty hungry.

They had some really big and interesting fish in that tank. The fish swam constantly, well, all but one that just sat on a rock the whole time. It was exhausting to watch them.

We aren’t much for cities, but I wanted to see what “Music City” was all about. A fellow RVer had told us of a good place to park where we would cross the Cumberland River over a pedestrian bridge to get into the town. We had a lovely view of the city as we crossed.

Then we walked around the streets in Nashville. We had heard that every night of the week you will hear music pouring out of restaurants and clubs. It is true! Even though it was chilly, the doors were wide open, and sometimes even the walls, with musicians right inside playing all types of music. It was a happening place.

I was really tempted to buy some boots for some strange reason.

And I had fun singing with Elvis. I had no idea he would be there!

The view was even better on the way back to the truck.

The Hermitage was something Matt was interested in seeing. It was the home of Andrew Jackson. We both realized that we didn’t know much about him. One interesting tidbit was that he fought a duel for the honor of his wife. The opponent got a shot off first and hit Jackson, but he reeled and got his shot off too, killing the other man. He lived with the bullet in him for the rest of his life. Or so the story goes…

When Matt tried using his credit card to pay to go into the Hermitage, he realized that he had left his credit card at the restaurant in downtown Nashville. So we hiked back across the bridge to get his card from the Brazilian steakhouse. He loved eating there at the churrascaria because it reminded him of mission trips to Brazil.

As we walked across the bridge this second evening to get to our truck, we passed a young man walking the other way. He looked worn out and sad but had a guitar on his back. I wondered if he had great dreams when he first came to Music City but that it wasn’t panning out for him. I couldn’t help but think he might want to spend a few days being rejuvenated by hiking in Daniel Boone National Forest. I know that’s what I prefer!

A Whirlwind Catch-up Post

So much has happened since my last post that I barely know where to start! We made a huge change in our lifestyle by selling our home and getting rid of almost all of our possessions. A few precious things are stored with family, but otherwise, everything we own is in our camper. And that changed too! Since we will be spending all our time in our camper for a while, we decided to upgrade both the camper and the truck. Here is our new rig:

Selling everything was huge and someday I will write a post about it. It really seemed the thing to do for some reason and so we went for it. I worried that after everything was gone, I would miss it and be sorry. But just this morning as I was waking up, three months after dismantling the life we had lived for 23 years, I still feel relieved. I must have been dreaming about the house. I think my mind is still trying to make sense of all we did. As I awoke, I had visions of the basement and garage with all the stuff and my first reaction was, “Oh, I am so glad I don’t have to think about and care for all those things!” I feel more joy without those possessions tugging at me all the time, demanding that I do something with them.

So, since we went on the road we have put 4200 miles on the camper. We have rushed to Illinois to see our granddaughter get baptized. Next was a visit to Sauder Village in Ohio for a rug hooking event. Then back to Maryland to register the new camper. On to Pennsylvania to visit parents. Down to North Carolina to greet our son coming home from deployment. Back to PA to attend the memorial service for my husband’s stepmom. Then back to Ohio for another rug hooking event.

We have seen four bald eagles sharing a meal, biked 20 miles along Oil Creek, viewed gorgeous art in Cleveland’s art museum, toured Monticello, watched the eclipse, went on the Blue Ridge Parkway, saw several covered bridges, and did LOTS of hiking. All the while, Matt was working full time and I drove, grocery shopped, cooked, cleaned and did laundry. And of course, hooked rugs, wrote an article for Rug Hooking Magazine and made some jewelry. I had no time to write blog posts and half the time had poor cell signal. So, here are a few pics here to catch up. Put on your seat belt!

Our home of 23 years when we listed it for sale. What a lovely home it was and I am grateful for it. But it was time to move on.

Our son, Jonathan, baptizing our granddaughter, Beth. What a joyous occasion!

Our granddaughter heard me talking to her mom about our big change. I said it was a bit daunting knowing that we didn’t have a home to go back to. Beth suddenly showed up and told me to keep this verse, that I needed it. Indeed I did. It is on my refrigerator still!

I was thrilled that my artwork was chosen to be in the Celebration book. It is a book that is published once a year with the “year’s best hand-hooked rugs.” Here it is in the Celebration exhibit at Sauder Village in Ohio.

My rug, Transformation, featured in the Celebration book which is a juried collection of rugs.

My latest jewelry creation. I love labradorite and wire working!

Each time we are back in Maryland, we love visiting with Philip and Emma. I do miss our dinners together. This was taken in Harpers Ferry, WV.

While in PA, we hiked at Ricketts Glen State Park. I still haven’t seen all the waterfalls in this spectacular park.

Here I am with my beautiful mom, Shirley Updyke. She put one of my rugs in a place of honor in her lovely home.

We were amazed to see four bald eagles in a field very near to where we camped in PA. Here is a photo I took of three of them.

I am so pleased that Jeremy is home from his deployment. It was wonderful to see him and Mary Claire together again.

I had seen Monticello as a teenager and always wanted to go back. We just happened to camp nearby, so I got to see it again.

Here is our family all together. We camped together in PA while we attended the memorial service for Matt’s stepmom, Jo. Even though we are sad she is not with us, we know she is with Jesus and we will be with her again!

We did our longest bike ride yet in Oil Creek State Park, PA. I think it was our most beautiful ride yet. And we finally got helmets!

I was blessed to take a class from Gene Shepherd at the ATHA bienniel in Cleveland.

Cleveland Museum of Art was great! I loved this Van Gogh painting.

The rock formations in Cuyahoga Valley National Park made me feel small.

That’s all for now! Lots of adventures ahead!

 

The Grand Tetons

I had heard so many things about the Grand Tetons: how beautiful they are, how much fun it is there, so many things to do. We only allowed one weekend there and were ready to explore. On Saturday, we went to the one place I had heard the most about, the Chapel of the Transfiguration

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Even though it looked lovely nestled below the mountains, an inside window allows a glorious view of the majestic creation of God while you pray.

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

There are over 200 miles of trails in those gorgeous mountains and I would have liked to hike about a bit. But I was exhausted from Yellowstone National Park and so we drove to various spots around the mountain loop.

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I was interested to see this sign about Ansel Adams at one pull off. Seeing his dramatic black and white photos of some national parks was one of the things that urged me to visit the parks for myself.

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

It’s not possible to get the same shot that he did because of tree growth.

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

At one spot, we saw a mother moose with her baby. It was one baby I hadn’t seen yet on this westward trip!

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

There are a couple of barns along the drive that are famous photo spots. Of course, they are best in the morning light. Why are all the best photos early in the morning?! lol. But I did the best with the lighting I had…along with some post processing to lighten up the barn which by this time was in shadow.

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

This was a new duck sighting for Matt and me. I still don’t know what it is since we seem to have lost our bird book.

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Beauty was at every turn.

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I was a bit disappointed that we only had one more day there and that day it rained. I never got to see the mountains with white puffy clouds behind them. But with all the gorgeous weather we had had thus far on our trip, I couldn’t complain. Besides, I still felt that I needed time to process all I had seen in Yellowstone. We enjoyed our day of rest as we camped near the Tetons which were enshrouded in clouds. We’ll just have to visit the famous mountains for hiking another time!

Grand Tetons photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

See more posts about our Great Westward Trip! Starting on the trip, Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Devils Tower, Yellowstone- Day One, Yellowstone- Dangerous Beauty

Yellowstone: Dangerous Beauty

After being at Yellowstone National Park, I feel like I should have a T-shirt that says, “I survived Yellowstone.” I might have gotten one if I had seen one. Hmmmm….maybe I should market that. Our first national park is a place of intense, alluring beauty and yet full of natural dangers. Our second day at Yellowstone just happened to be our 33rd wedding anniversary and we set out with anticipation and carefulness. (You can read about our first day here.) Such gorgeous scenery.

.Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Since we were there in early June, there was still snow on the mountains. We commented on their beauty, not realizing that the road would take us right up to it. We couldn’t resist stopping and throwing snow at each other on our anniversary.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Here’s Sherman (our trusty truck)  in the beautiful surroundings.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We stopped for our picnic lunch high along the Washburn Range. It really looked like a scene from The Sound of Music.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Tiny wildflowers grew in this high altitude.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I told Matt that I wished we had a photo of us eating our lunch while looking out at the mountains. It took several tries, but he got a selfie from behind us!

Yellowstone National Park photo by Matt Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Our next stop was Upper and Lower Falls along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Each place we went to had warning signs. I felt either brave or foolish to continue walking.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We saw this rainbow against the canyon wall near the Upper Falls.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

The Lower Falls are the famous ones and I could see why. How amazing!

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Just a perfect place for an anniversary pic. I had learned from the previous afternoon that the sun is fierce at Yellowstone. Time for my adventure hat.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

It was the middle of the day and the lighting wasn’t that great for a photo. I hoped that on one of Matt’s vacation days that we could come back to see the falls in the morning light. Still pretty in the middle of the day though.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We headed further to drive around Yellowstone Lake. Gorgeous reflections.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Even along the lake, there would be a random steam vent. Constant reminders of the volcano just waiting to erupt again.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Dragon’s mouth, a belching, spewing cave was another example of dangerous beauty.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

It’s a long drive around Yellowstone and we did a lot of it that day. We headed home, exhausted and yet ready for more. We stopped once more and saw this raven’s nest. Babies were everywhere in the park in early June.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

The next day, we set out with the purpose of seeing animals. We heard there were wolf pups to be seen but that you had to get there early. We got up early and to the sighting spot at 7:00 after having to drive an hour to get there. Lots of people were there, but they were starting to leave. “You just missed them by about 15 minutes,” someone said to us. The pups had gone back into the den and were resting. We thought maybe they would take a short nap and we waited…and waited. At one point, a man said, “There are a couple of buffalo heading our way. We should probably make our way slowly to a different spot.” Sure enough, there were two beasts lumbering towards the group. The man continued, “I don’t think they will be any problem, especially if no one is wearing red.” I looked at Matt. He was wearing red! Oh no. I thought of my parents’ parrot who hates the color red and will attack it. I thought I’d offer Matt my jacket to cover his red shirt. That’s when I realized I had a red shirt on too! Yikes! Then the man and Matt both laughed. It was a joke. Hmmmm… not very nice with all the signs around warning of buffalo attacks. After waiting a long time, I convinced Matt that maybe we should move on and see what other animals might be out in Lamar Valley. I loved the lighting on these bison with their young.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Many times as we progressed on the Lamar Valley road, there were traffic jams as people stopped to view animals in the distance. They had high powered scopes and would point off in the distance explaining that a tiny dot was a wolf or bear. We were glad we had our binoculars, but most of the time the dots still looked pretty much like dots to me. Once I even had the opportunity to look through one of the scopes and it still looked like a dot, but moved a bit. My camera equipment was sorely lacking for such a time. But I did see this wolf and got this shot.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We continued on the drive and were almost to the northeast entrance to the park. As we followed another pick up truck, it suddenly pulled to a stop. They excitedly told us there was a moose to be seen. I expected another dot on the hillside, but this one was easily seen. What a beauty and my first sighting of a moose.Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

After turning around at the gate and heading though the valley again, I admitted to being a bit frustrated with looking at dots in the distance. “Please, let’s not stop anymore where people are with scopes. I want to see Old Faithful. Of course, I’ve never seen a grizzly. That’s they only thing I want to stop for.” I truly didn’t think we would see one. It was the heat of the day now. As we passed another group stopped along the road, we slowed and asked what they were looking at. You guessed it… grizzly.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I admit it was a thrill to think that powerful beast was in the same general area as I was. I took the photo of the mom and her cubs from the safely of our truck. We made our way to Old Faithful and got there just before it blew.Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Here we are after it was done. Notice our red shirts. lolYellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

There was a lovely sunset to end the day.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Matt had to work a few days and then we had two vacation days. First we decided to go to Norris Geyser Basin. It was said to be the hottest and most dangerous part of the park. As we drove there (there is a lot of driving to be done in such a large park), we were stopped in a traffic jam. Matt stayed with the truck and I walked to the front to see what was going on. I got there just in time to see a grizzly mother walk across the road with her cubs. There were rangers there keeping people back, but it still seemed too close for comfort. I snatched a quick pic and ran back to the truck

.Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We got to the Norris Geyser Basin and were surprised to see many emergency vehicles there. We didn’t know why and tried to get the information from the woman who worked in the bookstore. She said, “I can’t tell you anything. But maybe there is something on the internet.” We kept going and I saw this equipment along the way. A reminder of the danger of the place.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

There were signs everywhere stating that the ground was not stable and to stay on the boardwalks. The warnings were dire of burning or death and showed illustrations of a boy falling in. There was no way I would veer off of the path. Here Matt looked over the Porcelain Basin. The earth was steaming and bubbling all over the place.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I heard one person say, “There is no way I’m walking down in that basin.” And I suppose that would have been the safest, but we walked on down, staying on the boardwalk.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

The entire time, I was nervous about falling off the boardwalk. So, I stayed in the center. The bubbling earth had a strange beauty.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

In one way, I could almost imagine why someone would walk off the boardwalk. That beauty was enticing. And I watched amazed at how people would do almost anything to get a selfie. You know I love photography. But it is dangerous. As soon as that camera gets in front of my face, I lose what my son calls, “situational awareness.” I’ve been known to start backing out into a road while trying to get a good shot. Thankfully, Matt is always there and he knows to watch for me. And since I know this about myself, I am more aware too. But truly, I was in no way tempted to walk off that boardwalk. Later, we found out that a young man had done just that the day before. His body could not be recovered after he broke through the thin crust and fell into boiling acidic water. I’m glad that I didn’t know that while we were there. Instead, I just stayed where I was supposed to be and looked with awe at the terrifyingly beautiful sights.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

After leaving the hot geyser area, I was happy to put my tired feet into the Nez Perce Creek.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We drove on and ate our picnic dinner next to this sign.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

There were more fantastic sights along Firehole Lake Drive.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

It was time for the drive back to our camper. But first we stopped where others were looking at a dot on the hill. Matt shot this quick photo before I got out of the truck. Our first sighting of a mountain goat.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Before we knew it, people gathered around Matt asking what he was looking at. Of course, by this time, the goat had laid down and was a tiny white dot. Matt patiently described where to look and helped others look through the binoculars for quite some time. I jokingly told him later that when he retires, he should become a tour guide at some park and I could make art and sell it. Actually, it’s not a bad plan!

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

To end the first vacation day, Matt wanted to take a side road back.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We learned that it was the original road to and from the first entrance of the park.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I thought about all the stagecoaches that jarred along this road. It would have taken a lot longer to explore the massive park on this kind of road.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Matt had one more day of vacation for us to spend in Yellowstone. I determined that I wanted to see the Lower Falls in the morning. I had read that if you got there at the right time, you could see a rainbow at the falls. Another early start and long drive got us there to see people lined up with cameras on tripods. Matt wondered if we missed it, but my theory was that since they were still there, we had a chance. After about 5 minutes, the colors emerged.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I still get excited thinking about witnessing such a gift from God.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We did a lot of hiking that day with elevation changes. Our last one was the Hellroaring trail that took us down to a suspension bridge.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I was thankful that it was a downhill hike to get to the swaying bridge across the roaring creek.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Unfortunately, it was all uphill on the way back! Flowers and animals got my mind off the steep climb back.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Our time at Yellowstone was over. My mind was overwhelmed by the startling beauty of the place. It made me realize that this planet that I sometimes take for granted is an amazing work of God. I’m thankful that most of the time I’m not even aware of the dangerous state of nature. Instead, I enjoy the beauty and leave managing the planet to the Creator! Did I like Yellowstone? Oh yes!

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

See more posts about our Great Westward Trip! Starting on the trip, Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Devils Tower, Yellowstone- Day One

Yellowstone National Park: Day One

Ever since I heard of Yellowstone National Park, I have wanted to go. I pictured steep mountains and low valleys. And maybe a bear or two that might say, “Hey, Boo Boo, it’s a pic-a-nic basket.” But Yellowstone is so much more! Planning to go here always seemed a bit overwhelming to me. I had read that if you want to camp in or near Yellowstone that you need to make arrangements a year in advance. But here we are seeing the country spontaneously and it seems to be the best way for me. Looking at the map of Yellowstone, I saw that there are 5 entrances to the park. It’s a challenge to know how to attack a park the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. But we decided to camp in Gardiner, Montana right outside the historic first gate of Yellowstone, our country’s first national park. Here is the Roosevelt Arch at the entrance, built in 1903 and dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt.  Matt searched for coordinates to a geocache that was right outside the park and was our first Montana geocache.Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We had to get our photo by the Yellowstone park sign.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Immediately, we were greeted with gorgeous scenery.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We made our way through windy roads to the first big attraction near us, Mammoth Hot Springs. Here I learned that this wonderful park is really a volcano! Thermal activity is evident everywhere you turn. Here are some photos I took at Mammoth Springs.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

We began keeping a list of all the new animals and birds we saw in Yellowstone. Bison were everywhere and often created traffic jams as they crossed the road. But we also saw black bears napping. Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

And a coyote eating lunch.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I was thrilled to be here at the beginning of June. It was spring time and the animals had babies. Here is my favorite photo of a mama elk and her little one.

Yellowstone National Park photo by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

The beauty of Yellowstone holds so much, but I will have to show you more photos later. There’s a lot for me to go see!

See more posts about our Great Westward Trip! Starting on the trip, Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Devils Tower