High Altitude Scenery

Out here, in Wyoming, the scenery is NOT gorgeous. Wyoming is primarily sage and buffalo grass, and rocks. The lush hills in the Yellowstone Park region are the exception, not the rule.

High altitude, by its very nature, does not welcome growing things. We tend to associate much of our idea of beauty with green and flowering plants. Other than that, we tend to like the look of snow.

Some high altitude areas have snow to relieve the sameness. Some do not. Often the views are stark, striking, or awe inspiring. They are frequently unlovely. Other times they are breathtaking, and even humorous.

In the spring, the splash of green, and of colored flowers which grow at moderate altitudes can be lovely, or whimsical. Some flowers seem to just pop up one, by itself, instead of in the clusters we might expect to find them in.

Nature tends to go in for drama at high altitudes, I suppose to make up in impact what she lacks in lushness. Often the colors are muted and subtle, or displayed in rocks instead of in flora.

Some places in Wyoming are particularly evocative, with landscapes that remind us of other more familiar, or even more alien things. When wind blows dirt into the snow, it looks like baked meringue. Rock stratas which have been tipped sideways, so that the layers protrude from the ground, can look like the backs of dinosaurs. Weathered rock spires look like castles in the sky.

Since many high altitude areas are more remote, the scenery is often unspoiled. There is a great variety, depending on where you go, and how high. Sometimes the scenery consists of what you are looking up at, and sometimes it is made up of what you are looking down on.