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  • Writer's pictureJessy Raspiller

{2020} Wild Diaries :: Yellowstone

“There is a delight in the hardy life of the open. There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm. The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased; and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.”

Teddy Roosevelt

My History with Yellowstone:

  • As an infant the story goes " You had your first Happy Meal in Bozeman and I drove your dad and you around Yellowstone while you both slept" -Mom. This was on a vacation that we took where my parents almost moved us to a Dude Ranch in Montana... how the twists in fate could have re-aligned everything.

  • Fast forward to college, a year and a half in I changed my major from Special Education to Recreation Management + Tourism. I had no idea what to expect.

  • 2018: 10pm around a cozy campfire. My two friends and the group of adopted friends we made by snagging a Group Campsite at 5pm outside of Yellowstone National Park. Our new friends share their day adventures in the massive plot of land that lays before us. We share how we’re just driving through to get to The Tetons. I’ve personally had my heart set on sitting beneath these massive crater lakes and slabs of granite. Our carload has agreed this is our main destination for tomorrow. The following day at 5am, 15minutes into the park. Sunrise coming up over the Lamar Valley as we pass a groggy buffalo on the shoulder of the road. I think we unanimously blurt out “what if we could get a first come campsite”. We pull into Tower Camground a few hours later and snag the last campsite. Just as I mentioned yesterday that feeling of Sinking In… we were meant to be here. If you know, then you know you don’t just get a campsite in Yellowstone. People plan these trips sometimes years in advance. We were meant to be here.


Needless to say, Yellowstone is not just another tourist trap. I understand now why it became our first National Park. Each year as I make my pilgrimage to Idaho I spend a day exploring its corners;,Glacier formed lakes, Buffalo, Bear, and Geysers a mile high. This is what childlike wonder is truly about. Where science meets pure magic. Where adults drop to their knees in aw of the sheer beauty.

As I round out this journey and set my compass towards Ventura, I feel that this is an important time to cover the topic of Preservation. We’ve witnessed a massive shift in our culture of jet setters turned weekend Winabego rental warriors. THIS IS MAGICAL… this is what I hoped to inspire others to find with my Wild journey shareing. However this new curiosity has turned detrimental. We’ve seen the images of trails filled with litter and graffiti. I’ve personally watch individuals invade spaces that we’re not meant to be, for a selfie. Even as I write this my throat constricts and my eyes swell.

Nature is meant for each of us. It wasn’t made to be conquered by the best photo filter. It is each of our responsibility to respect every trail we step onto. We can treat our own home and properties how ever we like, but in the Wild, we are merely visitors passing through.


With love, I’d like to share a few thoughtful guidelines that you can take or leave;

Natures Unwritten Laws:

  1. Leave our spaces and places better than we found them: Please don’t leave litter behind and if you see it lying there and scold someone else for leaving it, my suggestion would be to create some good vibes and throw it in your pack to toss properly. This goes for food… please don’t assume that your apple is organic and will nourish nature. If apples are not native to your hiking trail than please pack it out.

  2. Waterways: don’t camp, don’t urinate, and please don’t mess with the ecology of our waterways. We never know how fragile an ecosystem is and by tossing boulders into streams we may create a shift we couldn’t even anticipate. 200’ to camp and do your ‘business’ is the generally accepted rule for distance to water.

  3. Respect: nature is meant to be enjoyed as it is. It doesn’t need the enhancement of your speaker phone conversations and music. Please know that many trails are shared by those on foot (including doggies off leash), bicycles, horseback, etc. You never know what is around the next corner so in the spirit of safety and respect for your fellow adventure seekers please be mindful of how much space you take up, how blindly you’re turning corners and what the right of way is. And wit that being said… STAY ON TRAIL. Please don’t trample wild land.

  4. Leave the Wild in the Wild: all those seashells, all those wilted bouquets of wildflowers only mean they’re not there for the next person. We all love tokens of the Wild, but if you’re going to take something do so off the trail where its assumed most others would gravitate towards plucking flowers and pebbles.

  5. Keep it Rare: my suggestion, and merely my suggestion… may we stop geotagging up the Wild spaces. Our instant gratification mindsets see something and want it for ourselves. I never ever withhold a gem from anyone, but I expect that you send me a private message and ask. Like years passed where secret locations could be only found by word of mouth. Isn’t there something kind of idyllic over this concept?

There are so many things I could share but I just request that as Teddy Roosevelt suggested:

The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased; and not impaired in value.


Here’s some photos of my Wild adventures over the years at Yellowstone... including this summers Winter Wonderland!

Life is a beautiful journey. I hope you Venture Well.

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