Glacier National Park: Mount Grinnell

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I know it has a pretty funny name, but give it a chance. Give the mountain a chance.

This park is a massive 1,013,322 acres. Can you even think of a million of anything? Try closing your eyes and imagining a million. Can’t do it, can you?

First inhabited by Native Americans, the Blackfeet ceded the mountainous parts of their treaty lands in 1895 due to pressure by the European explorers.

I always find it disappointing when I go to a museum and there’s a tiny display as a token to the Native Americans who were there first. Shouldn’t it be bigger? I mean, they were here a lot longer. Before disease-ridden Europeans came to America to give their fatal germs to everyone.

I admire that Native Americans have always known how to govern the land, and yet, Europeans poked them like a bee’s nest, and then tried to take that bee’s land, and then when the bees rightfully got mad, the Europeans said, “This looks like a good place to settle.”

The park’s mountains began forming 170 million years ago when ancient rocks were forced up and over younger rock strata. Men will do anything for a younger model. Trust me. Whether it’s a new sports car or a woman. All men want is more, more, more! But I am only one woman! How can I run as fast as a sports car, and chase after that sports car, trying to bite the tires the whole time? How??

Sedimentary rock in the region has some of the finest examples of early life fossils on Earth. Big whoop. My grandma lived to be 82 years old. You could say she was a “fossil” too. Plus, everyone knows those things can’t be sold for much money. Trust me. Apparently, if you take one to a pawn shop, the owner will say, “this is just two cans with string going from one can to another,” and “an old phone is not a fossil.”

150 glaciers existed in the park in the mid-19th century, now 25 remain, and scientists studying glaciers have estimated by 2030 all the active glaciers in the area may disappear.

This is truly frightening. For one, how are we all supposed to fill our styrofoam cups up with oil and drink it with that sweet rare, glacial ice now?

Let’s ask ourselves the real questions.

 

Beartooth Highway

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This thing is a highway section on U.S. Route 212 that reaches an elevation of 10,947 ft. Can you imagine 10,947 ft? Well I can. I drove it. My friend Mathias and I got to the summit and it was tundra. It had small ground cover, rocks, and little bugs and ground squirrels, probably.

One important thing I need to tell you is: I pissed at the top. So did my friend. With our backs turned to each other, of course.

The pass was crossed by Civil War General Phillip Sheridan in 1872 returning from an inspection tour of Yellowstone National Park. And I don’t blame him. Yellowstone is awesome. I’d cut a road through an animal’s habitat they had crafted over centuries too.

The General took the route that was suggested by an old hunter who had intimate knowledge of the Beartooth Mountains. Ah yes, the story of the old hunter who knew the land. Of course the General would take the advice of some stranger with a gun.

The road as it stands is essentially the same path the General followed. He left a trail of breadcrumbs to map out where the road should go to the construction workers and the foreman. That’s how they did it. The foreman was like, “Ok, boys, let’s lay down some cement. Just follow this trail of breadcrumbs.

 

Yellowstone National Park: Yellowstone Falls

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Ever heard of the Missouri River? Me neither. But Yellowstone Falls is a tributary of the Missouri River. That means it’s a tribute. You know, like how someone gets or purple heart or maybe a squirrel gives its nut to the squirrel king.

I can’t say enough about Yellowstone National Park. It’s definitely the experience of a lifetime. The amount of biodiversity is so rich, you could never see everything the park has to offer. Especially if there was something wrong with one of your eyes that day. Like a fly flew in it.

One thing I will say: Yellowstone is a volcano. One thing not to do in a volcano is jump into the lava and have to have your friend Mathias dump a bucket of water on you, only to realize they dumped all the water in the lava because they didn’t use an infinite water spell on their bucket.

The attractions at the park are volcano things that are rising up from the magma underneath. There’s so many parts of the volcano and earth. There’s rocks… there’s the mantle, there’s magma, and then in the center, there’s chocolate nougat. I learned this at the visitor center.

Part of the surface of the volcano includes rainbow hot springs, mudpots (where mud squirts out of the ground), and geysers (where water squirts out of the ground). The rest of the park is covered in mountains, forests, and lakes. Come on, guys. It’s not all magma.

Lastly, and most importantly, is how awe-inspiring it is to see the wildlife in their natural habitat. We saw bison out in the plains, just hanging out eating grass or wheat or whatever was out there. Those things are huge. They could easily kill a man. I tried to get a really close picture of me pretending to jump on the bison but I got gored and had to go to the hospital where they stitched me all together with someone else’s body parts. Great! Their body parts looked better than mine anyway.

So go see Yellowstone. Come on! Go see Yellowstone!

 


 

The end? Nope. One more story.

This is the story of the worst game of monopoly I’ve ever played in my life.

I had gotten a horrible rash on my inner thighs. It was caused by my sweaty thighs rubbing together too much until my skin became irritated and a rash was formed. Luckily, I rubbed some vaseline on my rash and it kind of went away after a while.

We decided to stay inside from one of our attractions, we ditched going to Universal Studios… because of my rash. So we went to the toy store instead.

At the toy store, we got a fuckton of games. Yahtzee and monopoly and probably some other ones. Maybe a nice dice game to play with somebody’s grandma. We also had a fuckton of legos that we had gotten at the giant lego store in Disneyland. I think Mathias got the goth set.

We set to our shitty motel room and started playing the first game: yahtzee.

Let me tell you something about yahtzee. It’s so rare to get a yahtzee, (worth 50 points), that every time I got a yahtzee (we played like 10 games or something probably), I would lean back and make two guns out of my hands and point hem toward the sky like I was going to shoot them and I would say, “Ooooooooh!” Completely by reflex and unconscious drives. It was pretty funny until the fifth time.

Next, we played monopoly. I begged Mathias to let me be the old boot but he refused. We started playing, and oh boy, I would go to the jail a lot as a funny joke and say to Mathias, “Oh noooo! I’m in jail again!” which was pretty funny until about the fifth time.

After a while of playing, we realized we knew how the game would end. We were basically trading the same $4 back and forth for about an hour before we figured it out. Then we both flipped the board at the same time. Pieces and money flying everywhere. Surely we wouldn’t be able to pick up every piece before we had to check out tomorrow. That’s when the board hit the ceiling and fell back down on us and poked us both in the eyes with the sharp edges.

Man, I hate it when that happens.

 

Literally signing off,

Shannon O’Brien