The world, how it works, surroundings, myself, etc.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Rubaiyat

Look not above, there is no answer there;
Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer;
Near is as near to God as any Far,
And Here is just the same deceit as There.

And do you think that unto such as you;
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew:
God gave the secret, and denied it me?--
Well, well, what matters it! Believe that, too.

"Did God set grapes a-growing, do you think,
And at the same time make it sin to drink?
Give thanks to Him who foreordained it thus--
Surely He loves to hear the glasses clink!"

                                --- Omar Khayyam

Monday, July 18, 2011

A trip to Yellowstone

Yellowstone, the country's first national park, is unlike any other. Every spot in the park reinforces this.

From high mountains to grassy plains, craters to waterfalls, huge trees to wild animals in abundance, each of the 5 entrances to the park presents an entirely different perspective.

We began our visit from its southern neighbor, the Grand Teton park. In retrospect, it wasn't such a good idea. The only thing the Grand Teton park has is the Gand Teton mountain. Nothing else was exciting enough but we fruitlessly spent an entire day looking around in this park.

As soon as we entered Yellowstone, it was a dream. Only you could see it living and breathing infront of your eyes. The first wild animal we saw was a bison, a creature which has been living on this earth since the last ice age. With shredded furry coats they looked like having a good time in the summer. In fact, they'd quite often get near the roads, sometimes even block traffic, with onlookers every so happy to point their cameras while they made their way across the road.

We also saw elks, mule deers and pronghorns. They can be easily seen in the Lamar Valley area, the stretch coming from the north-east entrance of the park. At one spot in Lamar Valley there was a huge lineup of stationary vehicles, so we stopped too. People were peering into the adjacent hill and I was able to see a wolf on its chase. Pretty neat!

I didn't see any bears. In retrospect, that was a good thing, since the very day we made out of the park, someone was killed by a bear in the interiors of the park. When you see a bear, don't run, don't startle, just drop dead. As per common wisdom, that's your best defense. But I think if a bear attacked me I'd attack it directly in its eyes rendering it directionless. I mean how difficult can that be?

Yellowstone has the highest concentration of natural geysers in the world. There are hundreds of them. You can see them active any time, any season. And boy are they colorful! Apparently, aside from the minerals being pushed out from the inside of the earth with the boiling steam, the colors are also caused by some thermophile organisms that live here. Puddles of green, turquoise, greenish-blue, boiling mud, were abundant. It was breathtaking. Nothing like I'd ever seen before.

In all it was a memorable trip, well worth the 2500 miles I drove.