This past weekend bicycles were ruling the road in Yellowstone National Park. Most park roads are closed until later this month, but every spring Yellowstone opens about 50 miles of its main thoroughfares to bikes only.
After riding about two miles into the park I pull over for a minute and leave my bike by the side of the road. Walking about 20 yards over to the edge of the river, I can see a herd of bison on the other side of the water. They’re in a brown meadow spiked with rocks and silver sagebrush. There’s some snow on the ground, a backdrop of evergreen trees, and a couple of really huge bull bison.
It’s so quiet, the only sound is the water in the river.
“We think of quietness as a resource here,” says Park Ranger Julie Hannaford. “Silence as a resource.”