The Desolation Of Skull Valley

The next time you sign up to work on an archaeological field assignment, as I did recently, you might first want to inquire of your potential employer one exceptionally important detail.

“Just exactly what is it that I will be doing?”

Skull Valley in Utah’s West Desert

The summer season at Yellowstone has been over for several weeks, and most park rangers have scattered to the four winds. So for the time being I’ve left that lavish government housing unit and have put away the flat hat. Some rangers are lucky enough to land a winter park service gig, but the rest of us pretty much scramble for any sort of respectable employment.

I couldn’t even get a job at the Potato Museum

You see it, but you aren’t prepared to believe it. The enormity of eighty million tons of rock sliding down a mountain in barely 20 seconds is almost beyond anyone’s comprehension.

West entrance to Madison Canyon

Honestly, isn’t life the ultimate crapshoot? One day you decide to roll the cosmic dice, take your chances, look for Some Kind of Sign, and basically hope for the best.

Recently I took a chance and rolled those polka–dotted cubes with absolute gusto. When I finally looked around this is the sign I saw.

I took it as Some Kind of Sign.


Nearly three–billion–year–old rocks at almost eleven thousand feet above sea level? If you find yourself going to or departing Yellowstone you might want to consider driving the Beartooth Highway between Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana.

It does not even matter in what direction your travels ultimately take you.

Just do it.

Glacial valleys gouge the Beartooth Plateau


Katherine Hanson

Hey there, I'm Katherine Hanson, the curator of, a site dedicated to uncovering the hidden gems of the USA. With a passion for exploration and a love for discovering the beauty in every corner of this vast country, I'm on a mission to share the best cities, national parks, historic landmarks, and entertainment hotspots that the USA has to offer. From towering mountains to bustling cities, there's so much to see and experience. Join me as I embark on adventures and uncover the wonders that make America truly remarkable.
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