Jun 022012
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A while ago I had mentioned that I would share the essays I wrote in my English class, and I did not continue doing so.  In my defense, my teacher didn’t give them back to us until the day of the final.  I know, it has been over a month since then.  I am guilty of not posting them once I got them back!

Anyway.  Today after the gym, Carlos and I started doing some yard work.  After a while, it was time to eat again, so we took a break.  Carlos prepared our food while I cooked a recipe (more on that later).  While we ate, we watched a documentary on National Parks; they are so beautiful.  Well, this got me thinking of an essay I wrote about Yellowstone.  This essay is from the English class from the 2011 fall semester, and it is written in the third person.  I might have already said this, but in case I did not, I do not like writing in the third person, it takes meaning out of the writing.  Anyhow, here is the essay:

  Summer of 2000

            In the summer of 2000, Carlos and Liliana decided to resign from their jobs, travel across the country and settle in Arizona.  They planned on driving to Arizona from Pennsylvania, and thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to see the country.  During their trip, they drove through twenty-nine states.  The couple visited many popular tourist attractions, along with some that were not as well known.  Of all of the places that Carlos and Liliana saw during their trip, Yellowstone Park stands out more than the rest.  Carlos and Liliana’s impression of the first time they were at Yellowstone National Park, to this day, remains as vivid as if they had been there just a day ago.  While there are many beautiful and interesting places to visit in the United States of America, the many national parks are some of the most captivating, and among them, Yellowstone is the most special. 

            During their trip to Yellowstone, some of the couple’s most unforgettable memories were of the abundant wildlife.   At almost every turn, they saw wild animals, that prior to then, they had only seen in books and on television.  The first animal that Carlos and Liliana came across was a pronghorn in molt.  They spotted the animal while viewing the Grand Teton Mountains from a pull-off on the side of the road.  Liliana wanted to take pictures, so Carlos got the camera ready and began snapping away as the two slowly walked toward the pronghorn.  Soon, others noticed the spectacle and began approaching, taking pictures and video of the animal.  The increasing human attention proved to be too much for the animal, and the pronghorn trotted away from the growing crowd.  The couple was fortunate enough to see several other animals during their time at the park, including elk, deer, eagles, a moose cow with her young calf, as well as a buffalo, which walked right behind their car as they videotaped him.  Carlos and Liliana were happy to see so many animals in beautiful Yellowstone; however, there was one animal that they had hoped to see but did not, they never came across a bear.

In addition to seeing wildlife, the couple wanted to make sure to see Yellowstone’s Old Faithfull, and the many hot springs scattered all over the park.  Yellowstone contains the majority of the world’s geysers, and Old Faithful is the biggest regularly erupting geyser in the world, spewing hot water every 35 to 120 minutes to a height that ranges between 90 to 184 feet.  Liliana was afraid to walk on the walkway over the hot springs.  She was amazed to learn that the entire park rested on top of a super volcano.  This is, in fact, part of what makes Yellowstone such a distinctive and unique place.   

Another memory of their trip to Yellowstone was the night sky.  Yellowstone at night was a startling and breathtaking experience.  The couple descended a windy, mountain road at the twilight hour.  The day was wonderful, filled with adventure and new sights, but the day was long too, and the bumpy ride soon lulled Liliana to sleep as Carlos navigated to their cabin.  She was awakened by his gentle hand and a soft whisper, “Baby”.  There was something that he wanted her to see; he could not stand for Liliana, his love, to miss the sight.  He put his hand on her thigh, smiled at her and said, “Wait.”  Curious about what her husband had in store, she gazed out into the darkness through the glass, barely able to distinguish the outline of trees in front of their car.  Soon her door was open, and she reached for his extended hand.  “Close your eyes,” he told her with a smile.  Carlos helped Liliana out of the car, and positioned her facing him.  “Open your eyes, and look up,” he told her.  When she did, Liliana could hardly believe the sight.  The night sky was like no other night sky that she had ever seen before.  The sky was so dark that it was black, but was also filled with more stars than she ever thought could possibly exist in a single view.  She was amazed at how so much light and so much darkness could exist simultaneously.  The couple admired the mountain’s night sky for a while longer, and then continued on their way to the cabin.  Seeing Yellowstone’s shimmering sky was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

            Carlos and Liliana often reminisce about the summer when they traveled across the country in their two-door Honda Civic.  They remember visiting Liliana’s brother in Atlanta, and having to pull over on the highway after discovering that their car had been invaded by a colony of ants the night before.  All-you-can-eat pancakes in South Dakota and driving across the Badlands are memories fond to both Carlos and Liliana.  Fear of being swept away by a tornado in Nebraska had now become a favorite story of the couple’s to tell.  Giant redwood and Sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park, and, of course, their favorite place of all, Yellowstone, are frequently the topics of conversation in the couple’s home.  They talk about taking another trip, and plan like happy children, what they would do this time if they could take the trip all over again.  They talk about who they would visit along the way, which routes they would take, and if they might ever see another sky like they saw on that August night in Yellowstone.  The young couple created memories during their first time in Yellowstone that will live with them forever.

I was planning on adding pictures, but I decided to wait so that I can scan pictures of our trip, so stay tuned for those photos.  I hope to add them in the next week or so.

So, have you ever been to Yellowstone or other National Parks?  What park (s) is your favorite?

~ Liliana

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