Middle of July 1993, moments before sunset, in northeastern Yellowstone National Park. View toward the southeast. This was the coldest summer ever recorded in the region since records originated in the late 19th century. Heavy frosts have already turned the foliage into golden autumn hues. Osborne Russell, one of the earliest trappers to visit Yellowstone, first viewed the Lamar Valley in 1835. Revisiting his favorite "Secluded Valley" the next year, he wrote in his journal, "There is something in the wild romantic scenery of this valley which I cannot . . . describe, but the impressions made upon my mind . . . one evening as the sun was gently gliding behind the western mountain and casting its gigantic shadows across the vale were such as time can never efface from my memory."

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