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Perspective: Where the buffalo roam

blockade.jpg
Lonny Cain
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Bison blockade at Yellowstone National Park, 2022

We just returned from a spectacular road trip through Yellowstone.

We missed the flooding and evacuations by a few days.

I was going to tell a funny story about our two encounters with bison, starting with that well-known refrain: "Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam." Then add, "Be careful what you ask for."

bison alert.jpg
Lonny Cain
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Twice we were stalled for an hour behind a herd of bison, roaming on and off the road. My left bumper was inches away from the horned and very large head of a bison. We both had stopped. I made my move and slid forward. He allowed it. I was laughing. My wife, not so much.

That's why millions flock to Yellowstone. To see wildlife, Old Faithful, and sniff steaming ponds where strange geologic digestion is going on underground.

Yellowstone took eons to form over a still-shifting underground tectonic plate. You try not to think about the volcano that stretches below.

Nature can slow the clock. Until heavy rainfall and rapid snowmelt change everything. Roads washed out and we all saw that house sliding into a rushing river.

A scientific report last year predicted Yellowstone would face flooding issues tied to climate changes.

Nature adapts and is always changing. We don't have a proper view of the slow-moving, bigger picture.

But then we see a house vanish into a river and begin to wonder and question.

What is happening to this land? This home where the buffalo roam.

I’m Lonny Cain … and that’s my Perspective.