Some take it for granted but as we mark 150 years of Yellowstone it is worth reprising the words of a Ranger who was asked what he would do if he had just one day in the US National Park.
‘Cry’ was his rather laconic but revealing message.
‘Twas Ulysses S. Grant, hero of the North, who opened Yellowstone National Park, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, on March 1, 1872.
Although we prefer to mention the work our very own Scottish explorer John Muir did there and elsewhere in the States which earned him the mantle ‘Father of the National Parks.’
But it is important to acknowledge that the Native Americans (Red Indians in 19th Century parlance) had been there for 11,000 years.
Thanks a million
No wonder our Ranger of course would weep if he was only offered one day in Yellowstone.
Because there are 2 million acres of the park.
And while we’ve all heard of Old Faithful, you’ll also want to take in Lower Falls and Yellowstone Lake.
One million of us visit Yellowstone every year (in a Covid-free year) and with that amount of space you’ll never feel congested.
And here are some useful tips for our visit.
The entrance fee for each of Wyoming’s national parks (Yellowstone and Grand Teton) is $35 per vehicle to visit for one to seven days. Entrance fees for other National Park Service sites, such as Devils Tower National Monument, vary.
Reservations are required to camp anywhere within Grand Teton National Park and open six months prior to the date you wish to camp. Book early to reserve a spot.
St. Elmo, located west of Buena Vista, is one of Colorado’s best-preserved ghost towns. With wooden storefronts and a dusty main street, it looks straight out of a John Wayne movie.
After exploring St Elmo, visitors should make their way to the nearby infamous town of Tin Cup. One of the more rowdy towns, sheriffs didn’t last very long here, and you can see echoes of their sorry fates lingering at the town cemetery.
Slovenia though is a magical land with rich history and superstition which lends itself to ghostie stories.
Built within a cave in the middle of a towering cliff, Predjama, which dates back to 1274, is imposing by most standards.
Add in local legend and you’ll be hard pressed not to get spooked:
Once the residence of knight Erazem Lueger, Predjama has hidden passageways and was reputedly a site of torture and treachery. Lueger was betrayed by his servants and killed in the castle, and is said to still haunt it today.
Yes, and back on this island and in an old stomping ground, Wales, where they defer to an old dragon (make up your own punchline) Halloween is all the rage.
Throughout October, Fonmon Castle and Gardens are offering several spooky experiences for visitors, including Halloween Haunted Gardens through to 31 October between 5-9pm inviting brave souls to test their nerves through an interactive garden of horror.
There’s also ghost tours on offer through the castle grounds from 6-13 October from 7pm. Walk and explore the grounds with an experienced guide and participation in paranormal activities is encouraged.
For the wee ones, there will be games fancy dress and entertainment from 10am. Entry from £14.50 for adults and £9.50 over 3’s.
Now if you’re back out on the road, and more and more of us are, then watch your ghoulies.
Because around the corner the souls of the dead are rising up.
I, of course, put my faith in the locals in such circumstances such as the Galacians who invited me to join them in the Quiemada fiery brew ceremony.