4th of July
Yellowstone National Park
July 4, 2006
< < previous
| next > >
We found it surprisingly uncrowded in our
country's first National Park on Independence Day.
I thought maybe high gas prices were keeping
folks at home, but a mining exec from Cody, whom
I met in the Old Faithful Lodge, told me it's always
empty on the 4th. "No fireworks in Yellowstone."
Years ago, I was listening to an Indian commentator
on Pacifica radio during Independence
Day, which he called, "the fourth of 'you lie'."
I was reminded of that when we crossed
the Nez Perce Creek, where we stopped to read the story of
Chief Joseph. During the summer of 1877, he was leading a few
thousand Nez Perce Indians on a desperate, zig-zagging escape from
pursuing cavalry troops and towards the Canadian border, in the hopes
of escaping life on the reservation.
In August, they passed through Yellowstone, where they
encountered (and captured) a party of tourists --
the past bumping into the future.