Of all the tall tales passed on by the early 19th-century fur trappers who ventured into the unknown reaches of Wyoming, the story of the mythical land of “Fire and Brimstone” must have seemed the most outlandish. Their tales told of a place where fire spews out of the ground and water violently boils, a place more at home in a passage from Dante’s Inferno than any earthly environment. The region’s inaccessibility meant that it was only in the late 1860’s when the first organized expeditions set out to shed light on the area and separate facts from fiction. What they found was nothing short of astounding, a land of glass mountains, boiling rivers, and geysers that spew water into the sky. These lands were so wild, so unspoiled, that many felt it was necessary to protect them from human exploitation. Sure enough, in 1871 the land that got the name “Yellowstone” became the world’s first National Park.