"Let's get lost together . . . "Lost in My Own Backyard brings acclaimed author Tim Cahill together with one of his-and America's-favorite destinations: Yellowstone, the world's first national park. Cahill has been "puttering around in the park" for a quarter of a century, slowly covering its vast scope and exploring its remote backwoods. So does this mean that he knows what he's doing Hardly. "I live fifty miles from the park," says Cahill, "but proximity does not guarantee competence. I've spent entire afternoons not knowing exactly where I was, which is to say, I was lost in my own backyard."Cahill stumbles from glacier to geyser, encounters wildlife (some of it, like bisons, weighing in the neighborhood of a ton), muses on the microbiology of thermal pools, gets spooked in the mysterious Hoodoos, sees moonbows arcing across waterfalls at midnight, and generally has a fine old time walking several hundred miles while contemplating the concept and value of wilderness.
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December 31, 2003
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Excerpt from Lost in My Own Backyard by Tim Cahill
A quarter century ago i moved to a small town just north of Yellowstone Park. I didn't know much about wildlife back then and honestly couldn't tell a mule deer from an antelope. I wasn't certain why Yellowstone contained more geysers than anyplace else on earth. I was unaware that there was a huge lake, one of the largest alpine lakes on earth, up there in the pines. I didn't know much.
But I wasn't a tourist. Oh, no. I was much too cool for that. I never went to Yellowstone specifically to look at, what --mud pots, or Old Faithful, or various thermal springs. It always seemed to me like that had somehow "been done," and that serious persons, like myself, went into the backcountry, and we did that specifically to avoid all those other persons who didn't know that gaping at geysers or giggling at the flatulent-sounding mud pots was for--well, for tourists, who were somehow inferior.