The sun started poking me in the eyeballs this morning so I decided to get up and take a shower. Today we drove back into Yellowstone ready to explore the middle, east, and north.
It remained warm and mostly sunny, avoiding the thunderstorms predicted. It didn't make the wildlife come out in droves the way that I had hoped, but we did experience a lot of traffic. Of course the elk were everywhere, plus some deer, and while I love seeing them I couldn't believe the people stopping in the road, pulling off here there and everywhere, taking chances walking in front of cars with their cameras at the ready—you could easily see the elk from the car, ooh and ahh, then drive on past.
We have definitely encountered numerous crazy drivers making absurd and dangerous moves. I think they're from New Jersey. Well, maybe Minnesota. A lot of the cars were from Minnesota. And Utah. Come to think of it, Utah drivers were the worst. But then there were the Montanans.
Along The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River we hiked Brink of Upper Falls to Upper Falls Viewpoint. Wow. Incredible. Strange, though, we met odd people in passing who wore bear dinner bells. Why they wanted to call those bears to dinner we just don't know. We stayed away from them.
At the Upper Falls Viewpoint we saw a marmot or something like, resting his head on a log, occasionally glancing around but mostly looking sleepy.
Our happy hiking days came to an end when Luke, while pulling me from the path of a raging buffalo, twisted his ankle. He still was able to carry me ten miles to safety, because I could not run away fast enough, but it hurt him quite a bit. He's so very brave!
Okay, we didn't see any buffalo today but we did see a bear. (I swear, I thought it was a raging buffalo. Maybe it was a squirrel). The bear was black. Was he a black bear? Hard to say, though we did get a better view of him through the binoculars. (Okay, I admit it; we stopped by the side of the road, crossed with camera and binoculars at the ready . . .).
Mammoth Hot Springs was stinky, like most of the sulphur baths around, but we were still disappointed that we couldn't get in to soak. We had our bathing suits on and everything. I don't know why the park rangers ran at us with such scared, wild-eyed faces.
During this entire journey we have spent hours and hours with Robert Jordan. Well, Jordan and the two readers that make his books come alive. I may forever associate Yellowstone with Wheel of Time.
We capped off the evening with the best Mexican dinner of all time. The salsa was creamy and the burritos like none other. While the typical Mexican restaurant has the big sombrero for your head and happy birthday sung in Spanish and English, we looked up from our meal to find cowboys and bar maid singers dancing into the room singing “Back in the Saddle Again.” They were advertising for that night's performance of “The Lazy Chaperone” at the local playhouse.
Day six coming soon!