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There Is Beauty All Around

June 23, 2017

Why would you let them burn down? Where’s the benefit in that!

My father-in-law was a logger. Not one of those strip the hillside bare loggers. He was a specialist. People hired him to come in and thin their trees in Western Washington. He took great pride in protecting as many trees as possible.

So, it was disheartening to him to watch the raging wildfires in Yellowstone National Park in the late 1990s. The National Parks Service had a controversial policy of letting fires burn themselves out in Yellowstone and other parks. The thought was to allow the forest to live and breath as much as possible like it had prehistorically.

After years of drought and few fires, when the enevitable fire came, it burned hundreds of acres.

This week, my lovely wife took two of our daughters to Yellowstone. We were there as a family last summer. You can still see the results of the fires, 20 years later. Many stretches have nothing but bare, dead trunks. But, other areas have sprung back amazingly. Where thick forest grew, now there are meadows with some young trees attempting to take back to their lost territory.

Which is prettier: Yellowstone as it is today with open spaces, or Yellowstone as it was before the fires with tall stands of trees?

Yes. Yes, they are both pretty and both are “natural.” Is one better than the other? I suppose if you are an environmentally conscious logger, you might think so. To me, they both are beautiful.

While my family was off watching buffalo in Wyoming, I met with our client in Salt Lake City. They were in town to do some system maintenance. It’s pretty impactful to the agents, so we scheduled it for after hours. That left my clients’ day free to explore Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. They are all from Texas. . .big. . .wide. . .prairie. . .Texas. Utah has mountains and rivers, lakes and hiking trails.

The client headed off to Park City to tour the Olympic village. They drove through Parley’s canyon and ended up at the nexus between the Unitas mountains and the Wasatch mountains. If you’re not from Utah, they don’t look that different, but the Unitas run East and West (the only range in North America to do that) and the Wasatch run North and South. They are both part of the Rockies.

Rodney, now I understand why you spend so much time hiking and camping. I expected it to be like Texas where your camping spot is much like the rest of the state. . .big. . .wide. . and hot.

It was fun to show off our wonderful state just a little. If you get the opportunity to, travel and then step off the beaten path.

Where to YOU go hiking and camping? Post in the comment section.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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One Comment
  1. Hah. Wished I could. My son had his first overnight backpack trip at 3 months, my daughter conquered Little Si at 3. But my wife can’t do trips like that anymore, so we do what we can with short walks and bicycling. We still have our motorhome, but have to pull it out of mothballs.

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