‘Ello Yellowstone

26 Aug

We woke up at the crack of dawn on Friday, part of the camping routine I guess, and had a funny breakfast with the B&B hosts. The other couple, from Texas, was enthralled as the whole conversation centered around the missionary work of the host family in the Middle East and all of their converts. It was interesting. We packed our saddles and got back on the road and headed on highway 14A to cross the Bighorn Mountains. The scenery was terrific. The windy downhill roads were stocked with places to “rest you breaks” which we neglected to do until they started smoking. After momentary panic we calmed the situation and decided we weren’t going to die. Between the Bighorns and Wyoming not much else happened besides dusty small towns and mountain tops that look like red ant hills. Our caffeine and candy bar addiction was at an all time high.

We passed through the town of Cody, home to Buffalo Bill, and soon after entered the Shoshone National forest. The drive was beautiful but haze faded every mountain range giving the whole thing a strange, dream like quality. Everything started to increase with size and I had the feeling we were entering Jurassic Park.

The entrance to Yellowstone does feel a bit like a Disneyland entrance. We smiled broadly when they handed us pamphlets on how to act casual when you see a Grizzly at the entrance gate. We passed by Yellowstone lake which is truly breath taking. With high winds, the waves on the water made it really look oceanic and miles and miles of burnt pine trees standing naked in front made the few even more dramatic. We continued inwards and passed all the usual stuff you already know about Yellowstone, steaming geysers smelling of sulfur, more herds of Bison, more herds of people with cameras, big trees, big valleys, big mountains. We headed into Canyon village where we had managed to reserve a campsite for the night. It was the least romantic campsite as of yet, there were lots of people and not a lot of privacy, but that’s okay- we were going to get to see bears! We were thrilled at the idea of having to use bear boxes </em to store all of our food and Guillaume gave me a stern talk when I accidentally dribbled some sunflower seeds onto the ground. This was after all wilderness. After our campfire feast we headed over to the amphitheater where a real live park ranger was going to talk about animal stuff. He was adorable. I’m sure if it wasn’t freezing out he would have been wearing very tight and very little shorts. He thrilled us as he spoke to us about how dangerous everything here was. He said even chipmunk here were fierce. We believed everything he said, he was wearing a very smart hat and badge, after all. He made us grunt phrases like ” steep cliff dangerous” to get us in touch with our cave man instincts.. I guess. G and I were clearly the best in the class. He told us about he and his cat watching Bison from the window and we almost died in a fit of giggles. I don’t know why.

We went back to camp with our teeth starting to chatter and dove into the bed. Worst night ever. The tempurture dropped to 34F and the three of us with our one sleeping bag and a few sheets spent the whole night in a shivering heap.

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