Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Death in Yellowstone

Who can pass up a title like that?  Yes, we want to know about death in Yellowstone.  And having read most of it, I can tell you now that I would never head out in a small boat on Yellowstone Lake for an island in the afternoon.  Large swells come out of nowhere and fill your boat. Not wearing a life jacket.  You're dead.  Wearing a lifejacket?  You're still dead.  The water is freezing cold. You're dead, dead.

Or you may be struck by lightening on a sunny afternoon in your pleasant little boat. Boom. You're dead.

Deaths by falling rocks, by noxious fumes, by poisonous parsnips, cave-ins, freezing and, of course, death by boiling water.

My favorite:  one guy dove into a hot spring head first to save his dog.  Both dead.  People back up into hot springs.  People disregard danger signs.

People are mauled by bears and stomped by bison.  They think wild animals are "cute."  Dead.

A lot of this happens to young people, who work in the park.  Some of them drunk, wandering around at night. And German tourists.  And several from Salt Lake City.

What I learned from this book: while Yellowstone is called a park, it's not Disneyland; it's wilderness. Pay attention.


  1. My dad is obsessed with this book. He recounts the various horrible deaths to us when we visit Yellowstone every summer. He loves a good cautionary tale involving idiocy.

  2. Our dear, beloved John died doing what he loved most: disregarding danger signs in Yellowstone National Park. He will sometimes be missed.

    1. Just a possible intro to an obituary. Also, I'm going to hell.

    2. I love, "He will sometimes be missed."

  3. Oh, dear.
    I was going to give my pithy Darwinian observation that "Stupids die." (And this may well be the column under which my epitaph may one day fall.) But now I read Sarah, above, and I am not sure if it's appropriate?
    So, Louise, feel free to ban my post. Maybe I am empathy-less. That is a sad state of affairs, if I find this post deleted.

  4. Twebsterarmstrong I'm with you. How do you get yourself in a position to be mauled by a bison?

  5. I have just one response to this post: "Jesus."