Inspiration Can Truly Be Found in Your Own ‘Winter Wonderland’
As the clocks rolled back this weekend, as the faint chill entered the air, and many people are still looking at the loss of life, property and power, The Green Register wants to add a little hope and sunshine into what is currently a bleak world.
Winter is coming. And even though the phrase, “Winter Wonderland,” is something that many people will roll their eyes at – even the ‘greenest’ of people – because they see the snow and feel the freeze that’s going to descend very, very soon – Winter Wonderlands are also absolutely beautiful. And, let’s face it, there are a great many in this nation who need a little peace, tranquility and relaxation that can come from enjoying nature and staring at the most stunning creatures that were ever created.
America is filled with national parks, and even though it is during the summer season when roads are crowded and lodges are packed, it is the winter experience that provides some of the coolest and most exciting activities. In fact, it is the winter months that provide all of the true conservationists, naturalists and lovers of the environment the most incredible memories imaginable.
Take Yellowstone for example. This national park is a true winter wonderland that offers steaming geysers, herds of wildlife, and a calm solitude that you just can’t receive in the heat of the summer sun. Even the lodging offered – the Old Faithful Snow Lodge (which is one of the park’s newest and nicest lodging facilities); and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel – have names that spark the imagination and actually offer an image of pure peace.
But the activities never end. From snowshoeing or cross-country skiing through the thermal basins; to a snowcoach tour where everything turns into the most amazing “Winter Wonderland” on earth – Yellowstone becomes a piece of art. Sitting in the heated snowcoach, you and yours receive a trip that includes Old Faithful and the beauty of the snow-covered landscape that literally glitters like a carpet of diamonds.
While riding a snowmobile in this wonderland, people literally experience the ride of their lives, as they become one with a natural habitat that is beyond perfection. And to get up-close-and-personal with the wildlife, tours are offered into the home of Yellowstone’s wolves, where the elusive creatures can be seen as they descend to lower elevations during the winter in search of prey.
Now on the opposite end of the spectrum from Yellowstone, the Death Valley National Park is literally a sprawling desert that can test the hearts and souls of visitors during the blistering heat. So…if you really can’t stand that image of the “Winter Wonderland” with the huge icicles hanging off the pine branches of the enormous trees, there is another place where you can become one with nature. The normally hostile natural environment of Death Valley becomes far less intimidating so that one and all can stare and admire the spectacular geological features that can be found nowhere else in the world.
From playing golf on the world’s lowest elevation course at Furnace Creek to visiting the Devil’s Racetrack – the remote area of the park where stones leave tracks as they mysteriously move across the desert surface of a dry lake – this particular wonderland has lots to offer. Add in a tour of Scotty’s Castle, which is a truly unusual structure with a truly unusual mystery behind it, and Death Valley instantly becomes the (warmer) “Winter Wonderland” that works for you!
Now everyone knows the Grand Canyon National Park brings far smaller crowds in the wintertime, but riding a mule through a Pinion Pine forest, or taking a trip to the bottom of the canyon with an overnight stay at Phantom Ranch – are truly cool ways to spend the normally dull winter months. Not only that, but the historic Grand Canyon Railway offers a very magical “Polar Express” that operates from November through the first week of January.
But in the end, if you are truly looking for that expedition of your dreams; a journey that will allow you to leave all the ‘bad’ behind in order to gear up and begin the New Year with true and utter excitement, it is the magic of Yellowstone in the quiet of winter that will literally stun you and your family
The shaggy herds of bison shaking the snow off their backs as elk trek nearby; the wolves that wait and watch as the ancient wisdom shines through their mystical gaze; the bighorn sheep, golden eagles, foxes, coyotes, otters – every one of these memorable creatures are part of an experience you won’t ever forget.
So as you sleigh ride through the countryside, feel nature speak to you…and fall in love with your very own “Winter Wonderland!”
Until Next Time, Everybody,