September 7, 2012

Yellowstone National Park: Fascinating Facts Friday

It's Fascinating Facts Friday. Feel free to let yourself get a bit giddy.

Since I'm participating in BlogHer's "eye" challenge, I wanted to also incorporate today's prompt: What is the coolest thing you ever saw?

I'll admit, the first thing that came to my mind was seeing my first baby come into the world. But, multitasker that I am, my next thought was Yellowstone National Park. Truly, it is the most beautiful place I've seen so far. But, just as importantly, part of my Young Adult WIP is set there, so consider this research.

Our Yellowstone trip 2010

Yellowstone National Park

- The park experiences 2,000 earthquakes per year. It's no wonder with its 10,000 thermal features and 300 active geysers.

- It is home to two endangered species: the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) and the Whooping Crane (Grus americana).

- Did you know that the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park area is roughly half the size of New Zealand and covers more than 2.2 million acres?

- Yellowstone National Park has the largest concentration of free roaming wildlife in all of the lower 48 states. (We took the picture of the buffalo above as he walked next to our car on the main road.)

- A grizzly bear will eat about 35 pounds of food in a given day. In August 2012, a man was killed by a grizzly in the park.

- Yellowstone National Park has 5 park entrances, 466 miles of roads, 950 miles of backcountry trails, 97 trailheads, and 287 backcountry campsites.

Note: It sure would be easy to lose someone to suspicious circumstances in such an area. Just saying.

- Yellowstone was the world's first national park. It was established by Congress and President Grant in 1872. Most of Yellowstone (96%) is in Wyoming, but parts extend into Montana and Idaho. The park is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Its elevation ranges from 5,282 feet to 11,358 feet (at Eagle Peak.) About 80% of the park is forested. (Source)

- Yellowstone has its own Grand Canyon, called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. (That's my dad in the picture above.)

And just for a bit of fun, a picture of me, my husband, and our three girls during our 2010 Yellowstone trip (although the picture was taken at the Tetons).

For my writer friends... if you use a real city in one of your novels, do you visit it in addition to other types of research about the area?


Jess said...

Wow thats amazing!! We went to Yellowstone last year and it was BEAUTIFUL! I'll never forget it. Its so cool how the buffalo get so close! We also chanced upon a bear in the forest! Luckily we were in our car!

Have a great day!!

Miranda Hardy said...

It truly is beautiful...your family, too. I'd like to visit Yellowstone one day.

Annette Gendler said...

Tia, Yellowstone is amazing, I agree. Have been there twice and wouldn't mind going back.

Regarding your writer question: yes, by all means, if you use a real location, be it a city or otherwise, you should go there and experience it yourself to get the location right. Not only looks, but smells, sounds, weather, wind, food, etc. Also make sure you reference a map that is from the time period you're writing about. Street names change, buildings change, two-way streets become one-way, etc.

Tia Bach said...

Jess, I was equal parts amazed and humble in Yellowstone.

Miranda, I'll never forget my trip there. Gorgeous.

Annette, I agree. You can do research to a certain point, but best to have a mental lay of the land for storytelling purposes.

Elise Fallson said...

What a great trip. Love the pics! Yellowstone is definitely on my list of places to go with the family one day.

Tia Bach said...

Elise, You (and especially your kid!) would love it.

Jo Michaels said...

"Note: It sure would be easy to lose someone to suspicious circumstances in such an area. Just saying."

*strokes chin thoughtfully*

Anywho... :)

To answer your writer question: I tend to only write about places I have been. I grew up in Louisiana, have lived in Tennessee and Georgia, and have visited California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Michigan, and South Carolina. I wrote about Mongolia without having been there but I did a TON of research and looked at photos before I wrote. :) hehe Does that get me off the hook?

Great post today. WRITE ON!