National Geographic : 2016 Jan
THE ORIGINAL PARK During 29 hours on the top of the Old Faithful Inn, Wilkes made 2,625 images of the geyser that’s one of Yellowstone National Park’s chief attractions. He saw a sunrise and a moonrise and put both into this composite. “Today I am in the Yellowstone Park, and I wish I were dead.” So Rudyard Kipling began his 1889 account of a tour in America’s oldest national park. His dis- dain was aroused most by the “howling crowd” of tourists with whom he shared the visit. Attractions such as Old Faithful (left) still draw more than three million (mostly well be- haved) visitors yearly to Yellowstone; the vast majority of them never go beyond a hundred yards from a paved road. If Kipling himself had ventured deeper into the 3,472-square- mile park to witness the splendor of its river valleys and mountain meadows, his rant might well have given way to rapture.