Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Adventure: June 26: Yellowstone

Woo hoo, finally in Yellowstone! I'd wanted to go there for my entire life, I'm just so tickled that I finally had the opportunity. I will say it would have been neat to hike around some, but how does one prepare for altitude? A low-altitude flatlander myself, I can hoof it around here all day no problem, but dang get me up at many thousands of feet and add some hills and it really kicked my butt. Having more time there would have been cool too.

We were almost at the south entrance when we saw a large group of cars pulled over by the side of the road overlooking Lewis River. This is always a good indication of large wildlife. Hopped out and caught a glimpse of moose #2 just as she rounded the bend and went out of sight. Dang. We pulled over farther ahead, too far, then backtracked and just missed her again. Dang! These mooses just were not cooperating with me, and boy can they move quickly.

Before we got there, B said something to me about how he hoped I would not be disappointed by Yellowstone. This has me pretty concerned. Well, let me say I was NOT at all disappointed. It was different than what I expected, for sure, but fantastic and beautiful and fascinating although I think about 99% of the tourists ought to go home. ;-) I did not expect there to be so many trees for some reason. I guess most of the pics I've seen are in the open meadow areas, and I just tend to think of Wyoming as being a lot of open space anyway (just a side note, I visited Cheyenne and Laramie 11 years ago, very nearly went to college in Laramie, talk about open space!) Anyway, the heavy forest (though generally not very tall trees) surprised me, and there were times I found myself looking forward to a change of scenery. The number of dead trees amazed me, all from the fires of 1988. It's incredible that the young trees that have been growing in the last 20 years still seem so small.

I took this somewhere along the West Thumb of Lake Yellowstone, to show the dead trees. I about got obliterated by mosquitoes too.

So onward we went, and encountered another "tourist" animal, this one a skinny bison. He was so close to the road that I had to back up to get him in the frame, as I had the big lens on the camera. By the next day it was "eh, more bison, keep driving." Almost wished we'd stopped more but then we wouldn't have seen what we saw... you'll see. ;-)

Next stop, Old Faithful!

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