“Its mythic geysers bursting high.
Its cleft of color casts a spell,
Its savage beauty fills the eye,
But underneath lies Colter’s Hell.”
According to the stories, John Colter was the first man of European descent to see what is now Yellowstone NP. He was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804, an expedition that avoided Yellowstone. When that expedition ended, Colter didn’t go home. Instead, he returned to the Yellowstone area to explore it on his own (in 1808). He was astounded by what he saw.
Unfortunately, he was labeled a lunatic when he returned to Virginia, telling his stories of hissing geysers and boiling mud pots. Virtually no one believed him. It wouldn’t be until after the Civil War, when expeditions that included artists and early photographers journeyed to this place, that people would finally “believe”. Pictures, after all, don’t lie. At least they apparently didn’t in the late 19th century.
Heck, I’ve been there twice now and I’m still not sure it’s real………