The Yellowstone Peace Protocol

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Two mother bison and their calves. Notice how close they are to keep their offspring safe from wolves. (They are shedding winter coats, not dying of some horrible disease.)

I have a theory. Call it the Yellowstone Peace Protocol, or YPP for short.

It’s simple: take people from all over the world who can’t agree on anything or are fighting over an age-old conflict. Place them together in a beautiful landscape populated with majestic animals in a sort of wildlife pilgrimage. Humans of all colors, shapes, nationalities and languages, all inspired by nature. Now make sure the ratio of people to binoculars and spotting scopes is skewed. Say, 20 people for every five pairs of binoculars and two spotting scopes.

Now stand back. I don’t care if there is a staunch Republican next to a Democrat, or a Palestinian next to a Jew, or a Michigan State fan next to an Ohio State alumnus (am I pushing it with that one?). They’re going to start talking about wolves, bison and bears, not some other age-old conflict. Next thing you know, they’re sharing the spotting scopes and binoculars and sharing cold brews from a cooler. Agendas and nationalities melt away in the face of the YPP and all you’re left with is the fact that all of us are human.

A rather large elk that meandered through our campsite in Grand Teton about five feet from the van. We watched him for quite awhile.

A rather large elk that meandered through our campsite in Grand Teton about five feet from the van. We watched him for quite awhile.

French, Czech, Dutch, British, Texan, New Joy-sey, or Aussie. Talking to a fellow animal watcher in a National Park for the first time, you never know what their accent will be, so it would be a level playing ground to get started. With a thread weaving us all together, our eyes and intention are trained on the mama grizzly bear and her cubs bouncing in the tall grass, not the differences that “separate” us.

A dusk shot (not so good, sorry) of a mama grizzly and her tiny little cub. I didn't want to get any closer than this for the shot!

A dusk shot (not so good, sorry) of a mama grizzly and her tiny little cub. I didn’t want to get any closer than this for the shot!

I think this would trump the effectiveness of any UN meeting or mediation. Find a calming common ground and resolution lies just beyond that boundary. A clean, easy solution! Leaders of the World, feel free to borrow this anytime you’d like.

Sincerely,

Dakota

P.S. Yellowstone and Grand Teton are just amazing. We can’t wait to get back there. Here are a fair number of other pictures that I haven’t had a chance to share. Plus a few fun ones from Colorado and Montana to get these shots out once and for all!

The aptly named Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Amazing just like its counterpart to the south.

The aptly named Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Amazing just like its counterpart to the south.

Algae brighten up a geyser pool in Yellowstone.

Multi-colored bacteria brighten up a geyser pool in Yellowstone.

The majestic, old-timber lodge near Old Faithful. A great dinner in a cool rustic space that reminded me of Timberline near Mt. Hood.

The majestic, old-timber lodge near Old Faithful. A great dinner in a cool rustic space that reminded me of Timberline near Mt. Hood.

Tent caterpillars building their homes in Yellowstone.

Tent caterpillars lounging in Yellowstone.

Bubbling pools of hot water and the colorful algae that live on them.

Bubbling pools of hot water and the colorful bacteria that live on them.

I know, I know, you've seen it...but it's just so pretty with flowers and mountains! (Grand Teton)

I know, I know, you’ve seen it…but it’s just so pretty with flowers and mountains! (Grand Teton)

Oh give me a hommmme, where the buffalo roooam... (Grand Teton rocks.)

Oh give me a hommmme, where the buffalo roooam… (Grand Teton rocks.)

A big ol' bison munching away in the fields.

A big ol’ bison munching away in the fields.

Cows under an incoming storm in the middle of nowhere Wyoming.

Cows under an incoming storm in the middle of nowhere Wyoming.

A lizard keeps an eye on the scene in Fruita, Colorado.

A lizard keeps an eye on the scene in Fruita, Colorado.

Assisting with a friend's move near Boulder, CO by holding down roof freight while also wielding his favorite trident (we don't have one of those in the van). Got a few odd looks on the drive over. :)

Assisting with a friend’s move near Boulder, CO by holding down roof freight while also wielding his favorite trident (we don’t have one of those in the van). Got a few odd looks on the drive over. 🙂

Lewis and Clark Caverns near the North Entrance to Yellowstone.

Lewis and Clark Caverns near the North Entrance to Yellowstone.

Lewis and Clark Caverns near the North Entrance to Yellowstone.

The tunnel out of Lewis and Clark Caverns. You start way up at the top and descend wayyyyy down before exiting through this tunnel.

3 replies
  1. Brandon Smith
    Brandon Smith says:

    Sign me up for the YPP. Love it! Beautiful pics. I got nostalgic for the West while savoring my mango sticky rice in Chiang Mai.

    Reply

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