Yellowstone, Learning and Yearning.

I have delayed writing about my last trip, part procrastination and part the ability to better display my pictures when this posted from home rather than on the road.

I always believed that Roosevelt was the creator of the park, but that is wrong, it was President Ulysses S. Grant . It was the first national park in the U.S. and perhaps the world. My parents brought the family to the park in 1963 for the traditional drive through tour, Mule deer, Elk and sighting of Old Faithful. One day does no justice to the park. The week I spent there this year barely scratches the surface of it’s grandeur.

When I retired I planned on reading, gardening, learning and traveling. I dreamed of buying a motor home and traveling by myself for a year. Somewhere between dreaming and signing the check, I sobered up and realized I didn’t have the courage to be alone, drive through mountain passes and across bridges. At the same time my daughter moved back to Ann Arbor with her son. I knew spending time with him was not only a good cover for my lack of courage, it was also one of the best gifts a person can have, a grandson to adore and spoil.

If you have read my blog you know I have traveled. I also garden, read and learn many new things. Ann Arbor Recreation, Washtenaw Community College and the public library have been excellent resources. Road Scholar has been the best learning adventure. The trip to Yellowstone was taught by Meg Sommers (, a nature photographer. I learned a lot, what I really learned is I have so much more to learn. Here is a fraction of the pictures I took.

Other world and outclassed

We must have left Michigan just in time. We missed the rain and had only a short delay in Boston. The flight to Iceland was a nonevent, not even long enough to catch some sleep, so we have been running since yesterday morning with no sleep. Customs was a big surprise, they just nodded us through and said have a nice trip.

The group, 19, five married couples, a grandma/granddaughter combo and the rest retired females. A very interesting,highly educated group, most have either won photo contests or are actively engaged in photography beyond family pictures. I am definitely outclassed on this trip.

After the airport, breakfast and trip orientation we went to the famous Blue Lagoon. The lagoon was formed by industrial effluent from the worlds largest geothermal plant. The plan was the waste water would run off and be absorbed by the lava beds surrounding the plant. The runoff is so full of salts that a thick floor was formed, the water could not drain and the lagoon formed. After many years of people “sneaking in” to the plant property for a good hot soak it was decided that it would be opened to the public and is now the number one tourist attraction in Iceland. This was a fabulous restorative hour.

We drove to the sea and photographed the large lava formations. The roadside is covered with blue lupine which has been imported in an effort to add more nitrogen to the soil. We also stopped to see gysers, where the surface temperature is so hot that the surface bubbles and steams. Our last stop of the day was a point where the Eurasia plate and the North American plate meet, the official geological line between the two continents.

So far Iceland looks like a moon scape cluttered with lava rocks. Below the surface there is grinding, sifting rock that is creating pressure and heat enough to power the country. Volcanos are a yearly occurrence.