The Last Best Place

You know how Princess Diana said that famous thing about there being "three of us in this marriage"? Well, I feel like there are four of us in my marriage, and the other two are John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Who are John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman? Oh, they're just the radio commentators for the Yankees games, and they come with us everywhere. They even came with us to Yellowstone. 

Gorgeous, huh? Less gorgeous when there are people shouting "the bases are loaded!" in the background. 

I mentioned this to Sean as we were driving through the park, and he laughed. "Huh," he said, "Don't forget the 26 Yankees as well." 

"You're right," I sighed. "That means there are thirty of us in this marriage. My god, it's getting crowded." 


I'm kidding, of course—I mean, I'm not kidding that we do seem to listen to AN AWFUL LOT OF BASEBALL GAMES; well, one of us listens and the other one tunes out and imagines all the reasons Suzyn Waldman's parents didn't just go with "Susan"—but it's not like the splendor of Yellowstone could have been diminished by anything anyway, because it's just that jaw-droppingly gorgeous. 


Parts of it are like another planet. Like the weirdest bits of your weirdest dreams. We were walking around one of the bubbling pools, the steam misting up over the cracked red edges, the view changing every time the wind blew, and the only thought I could summon was the tremendously deep and probing question: man, how does this even exist? 


I mean, yeah, I get technically how it exists—by which I mean that I read the information boards around the park, then filled in the gaps with a pieced together recollection of geography class and, when that failed, a blanket shrug of "eh, science!"—but despite all that, it's just so staggering to see in person.

Old Faithful, particularly, was incredible. The park rangers had a fairly decent idea of when it would erupt, but as we were all standing around eagerly, waiting for it to happen—the sign said 6:31pm, give or take ten minutes—it suddenly struck me as particularly hilari(a)ous that nobody was actually in control.

Well, except Mother Nature, of course. And that bitch likes to keep you waiting, I think.  



6:33pm? Preposterous! With whom do I lodge my complaint? 

I took a video, but it doesn't quite capture the craziness of seeing it suddenly happen in front of you.

We managed to visit a pretty good chunk of the park—winding between Montana and Wyoming; sometimes not really knowing when we'd crossed over to each—and a nice little bit of Big Sky as well, which was where the wedding we attended took place. And man, it was a Wedding with a capital W, which is really just my veiled way of saying I danced like a madwoman in my stockinged feet for three hours. 


Pre-dancing, clearly. You can tell because my I've got my shoes on, my hair is still in place, and I'm pretending like I don't have a routine all planned out later for "Livin' on a Prayer."

Don't worry, though, I wasn't forced to listen to baseball on the radio the entire time. When we didn't have the fantastic album by the Lumineers on repeat—new favorite, and not just because there's an awful lot of handclapping, though it certainly doesn't hurt—we passed the long drive by creating an homage to the final scene of two-weeks-ago Mad Men. You know, the one where Don asks Creepy Glenn "What would you do if you could do anything?"

(That song is Butchie's Tune by the Lovin' Spoonful, by the way, and it is wonderful. It is also equally wonderful to imagine a real life person named Butchie. Put that one down on the future baby name list!) 

More photos of Yellowstone and Big Sky here. Let me know if you ever go so I can creepily stow away in your suitcase. 

1
Isobel_A
Jun 15, 2012

Oh, if you ever make it to NZ go to Rotorua - it's got all the bubbling mud pools and geysers also. Also hot baths, and between Rotorua and Taupo there is a small river that runs bath warm (I'm not joking) - people in the know just pull their cars over and hop out in their swimming cossies and swim around in this completely natural stream that's as warm as a bath.

Oh, and Waitomo glow-worm caves, as well.

2
ris
Jun 15, 2012

The thing I couldn't stop thinking while walking through Yellowstone was equally deep. There are those plaques telling you that you can't walk on the ground because it's all acidic and would erode the materials in your shoes, or something else equally as gruesome, right? So, how does the wood decking you're walking on not get eaten away!? I have wondered this for years.

3
Christy
Jun 15, 2012

Sean's Glenn impression is SPOT ON. That was awesome.

4
Megan
Jun 15, 2012

These photos are beautiful! They really do look other-worldly. Thanks for sharing them.

And YES, The Lumineers' album is fantastic. I discovered them by randomly Shazam-ing the song of theirs that's featured in the Bing commercial (side note: The Random Shazams are the name of MY band), and I love it -- it's totally been on repeat. Yay!

5
Julie
Jun 15, 2012

Oh so gorgeous! I grew up in Idaho, but have never been to Yellowstone. How is that possible? I need to remedy that. I will save room for you in my suitcase.

6
Sarah
Jun 15, 2012

Love the photos! I grew up in MT and spent my childhood learning to ski at Big Sky. It's an amazing place. My husband and I are planning our 5th anniversary trip to Yellowstone this fall. He's never been and I'm excited to show it to him. Of course you're welcome to space in my suitcase ;)

7
Tori
Jun 15, 2012

"eh, science!" Love it.

8
Camels & Chocolate
Jun 15, 2012

We spent eight days in Yellowstone last year and three weeks in Montana, and I was blown away by the beauty of all of it. Everything except Old Faithful, funny enough, which I found very underwhelming. The rest of the park was so much cooler that I couldn't believe the majority of crowds were centered around OF. Oh well, at least it meant the rest of the park was blissfully vacant for us to explore!

9
samantha
Jun 15, 2012

I was just in Iceland last month, and it's the same "what planet am I even on" feeling. With the added bonus of tourguides and signs constantly telling us all the ways we could possibly die at any given location.

10
Amy
Jun 15, 2012

Saying, "Eh, Science!" is how I explain most things.

Also, I really want to go to Yellowstone now.

11
Rachel
Jun 15, 2012

I'm a Yankee Fan and that's still a lot of Suzyn Waldman's attrocious accent to have to bear. Oh, that along with Sterlings cheezy home run calls....dandy from grandy, tex message to the stands...oh wait you're not listening and now I'm rambling.

Awesome Pics!

12
Alison Presley
Jun 15, 2012

Did you try the Huckleberry Ice Cream(s) for sale everywhere? It was THE MOST DELICIOUS THING EVER.

It also might explain why I gained five pounds. Ahem.

13
Tess
Jun 15, 2012

I may not have traveled to other countries extensively (read: at all) as a child, but I constantly am thankful that my parents thoroughly and repeatedly hauled my 4 siblings and me around the entirety of the Western U.S., camping at most of national and major state parks. We have some gorgeous treasures on this side of the continental divide!

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip! Now, go back in the winter time. It's like a whole OTHER different world with feet and feet of snow added. (You can ski/snow mobile into some of the lodges!!!)

14
ashley
Jun 15, 2012

I love how much fun you two have.

15
Ellen
Jun 16, 2012

I've been to Yellowstone twice now. Once with my parents, and twenty five (!) years later with my kids. I was always amazed how all through Venus-scape of bubbling cauldrons and danger! signs, buffalo had marked their passages (hoofprints and otherwise!) I mean if Yellowstone was in the South, I could just hear those big shaggy beasts saying, 'hey y'all, what '(th)is!".

Of course, I was amazed at all the rest too :)

16
cynthia
Jun 16, 2012

My mom is actually working in Yellowstone (at Old Faithful Inn!) this summer. She's retired and just though ti would be a cool thing to do. And she recently texted me a pic nearly identical to your...1,2,3,4,5, SIXTH pic above!! :) It's really overwhelmingly gorgeous. Did you see any baby buffalo??
Also, I never knew Suzyn was how you spelled her name! I listen to a lot of baseball on the radio but i guess I've never seen it written anywhere before. Weird.

17
honeypops
Jun 17, 2012

maybe it's God! i'm going to Yellowstone this July with my mom, please come! you and Sean are such a wonderful sight to behold.

18
Mary
Jun 18, 2012

Yellowstone is my favorite place on Earth. History, geology, science, animals, nature...love it all.

19
Marcheline
Jun 19, 2012

That video is so funny, I'm laughing even though I just had oral surgery and laughing HURTS LIKE HELL. BwaaahahahAHAHAHAHHHHHHHHH! Ouch. Hee hee! Ouch.

20
Anna Louisa
Jun 21, 2012

Hahaha...the Mad Men reference was PRICELESS!

www.anna-bird.com

21
Rebecca
Jun 21, 2012

The "pre-dancing" photo is one of those photos where future generations of your relatives will look at it many years from now and go "Look how fabulous they are!!"

22
April
Jun 23, 2012

Wow. It's so beautiful! I'm sorry we didn't stop there while driving through Wyoming two summers ago.

My summer is soundtracked by Kruk and Kuip announcing the SF Giants! Sigh.

23
Liz
Jun 25, 2012

I'm dying over Sean as Creepy Glenn! Hilarious!

24
Kate
Jul 10, 2012

I love every single one of your posts! And your photos look amazing.

Also, I have to agree with you about the Lumineer's album, it is absolutely incredible.

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