We endeavored to traverse the weald, and arrived in a region of isolation and unspoiled beauty, gratefully basking in seemingly ethereal splendor. Once among the lodgepole pine in the seclusion of ancient valleys, we reveled in the permanence of raw nature. It was a foreign sight, that of no intrusion of mankind, that from which a hand of verdancy embraced and enraptured all. This was a land with no falsehood or pretense, at once fragile and savage and powerful, with a visage that harked back to its upheaval and its sulfuric origins.
The picturesque landscapes afforded serenity, but also provided innumerable coverts which thwarted our attempts to observe the native species. It was not all futile, as we did witness myriad pronghorn, as well as chipmunks, ground squirrels, bald eagles, bighorn sheep, bison, grouse, an elk, a rabbit, a moose, and a bear – and possibly wolves. But none of these was as readily discernible as the native deer, which had become so accustomed to the visits of man that they were oft nearly underfoot. Naturally, these animals were ensconced in a variety of flora sorely unlike any from whence we came.
The harsh inclinations of the weather forbade us from prolonged reveries, but all is not lost. The visions of natural beauty will forever be ingrained within us, for us to conjure when the world apportions more than we can stand. Taken in its entirety, we were given a glimpse of God’s creation as it was intended, and that unadulterated view was intrinsically invaluable.