It feels rather strange to be back in Lexington. The weather Saturday night was the same as when we left for Yellowstone, hot and humid. I had almost forgotten what that felt like after two weeks in the cold and dry Montana air. Also strange to have to wake up and go to class again.
During the last couple days of our stay in Yellowstone, we were kept busy packing, cleaning and being tourists. The entire lab and all soil samples were packed into boxes and shipped out to arrive in Lexington. Not an easy task to say the least, and there were some minor mishaps (aka some forgotten soil that required rearrangement of luggage), but we were ultimately victorious. When we left the Bear Lair, it was as thought there had never been any people there conducting experiments with soil.
On Friday, we did a full tour of the park. It is a day which I will certainly never forget. On our tour, we saw the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Dragon's Mouth Spring, Old Faithful, Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone Lake etc. I particularly enjoyed looking out over the iced and snow covered Yellowstone Lake. It was very calming staring into the distance at the snow covered mountains beyond the snow covered lake. Ate ramen while watching Old Faithful go off, bet not too many people can say that. Watched a mildly successful ambush by Thomas III with a bow and arrow on his father. Saw some epic bridge building.
Despite the cold, I have grown to love Yellowstone. I can now confidently say that I see why people had wanted to preserve the park. Between the long hike up Specimen Ridge and losing myself while staring at the mountains in the horizon, waking up at 4 AM to catch glimpses of wolves and grizzles, meeting and listening to the people for whom the park is more than just a patch of land and a collection of animals, or a spot on Google Maps, I will truly miss being in Yellowstone. Hopefully, someday I will be back.