One of the sisters in my latest romantic comedy, Grown-Up Second Chance, is a painter. When the trio parks their RV near Yellowstone National Park, she insists they take a trip to the Artist’s Pots so she can see the colors. But as always with these three, not everything goes as planned.
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Without any more comments, we walked to the beginning of the path that led to the boardwalk surrounding the field of bubbling mud, steam vents, and whatever else the earth was spewing forth. Steam rose from beyond a screen of trees. When we reached the edge of the field, I stopped.
Spread out before me in circles, ripples, and splotches was the most amazing landscape I’d ever seen. While I’d been through Yellowstone a few times, I’d never stopped to give it the attention it deserved.
“Oh, my,” Kathleen said.
“I have to paint this,” Liz said. “I don’t know how, but there has to be some way.”
I reached for my phone, knowing in my heart it wasn’t going to do the place justice. I needed a better camera to capture the depth and textures I saw. But a camera was just one more thing to lug around. Larry had been right about that. A phone did just fine.
We started down the path, stopping as every new wonder was laid out in front of us. Mud tinted with blues and greens, mottled with sections of orange and yellow that oozed beside us. Bacteria gave it color, a nearby sign told us. White crusty earth surrounded a vent with water tinted a baby blue. Gentle steam rose from within, making it look like an inviting hot tub.
Another informative sign reminded us that it was 185 degrees Fahrenheit, close to boiling. Not much could live in that temperature, and we were instructed to stay on the boardwalk.
In spite of the smell, the place mesmerized me, and I could see Liz was totally immersed. Kathleen looked around, but I could tell her practical soul couldn’t see the point of it all.
A pond of bubbling gray-white mud caught my eye. It looked like a monster was roaming around under the slime, blowing bubbles that occasionally burst into thick droplets. I crouched down to take a picture with the phone, once again longing for a camera. I tried a few different settings with the phone and was about to get up when I felt the boards shake as someone pounded down the boardwalk at a rapid pace.
I looked over my shoulder. A lanky, awkward teen was striding toward me, his head down as he stared at his phone. Behind him, his parents strolled, seemingly unconcerned about their child.
He ran into me when I was balanced precariously, getting up from my crouch.
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“Landscape descriptions are worth reading this book alone.” ~ Bookbub reviewer