Special places are just so because we don’t see them often enough to take them for granted. We are visitors who had to endure the inconvenience and planning and expense of traveling to that special place. Yellowstone is one of those special places for millions of people. And yet scenes like this — an ordinary schoolhouse in an extraordinary place — remind us that our special places likely are, or were, familiar and routine and not particularly special to those that live there. The students who attended this old schoolhouse, just like students anywhere, probably struggled to be on time to class, hated homework, and couldn’t wait to get out of there at the end of the day. And when they wanted to be someplace special, they went somewhere else.
I am one who finds Yellowstone very special, of course. This evening at the old schoolhouse near Targhee Pass, with a glorious sunset setting the remnants of a thunderstorm on fire, was extra special, and I didn’t mind at all staying late at school. (Pricing Schedule D)