But first … a shower. So, we were on our second day without a shower and could really use a refresher before we got to Yellowstone. The first rest area was crappy – no running water, a girl with tourette syndrome and all at once many crappy tourists just on their way out of the park. We both looked at each other and decided to hit the road.. we could do better. I stopped at the next campground off 287 in Montana and we found ourselves at the top of a mountain with no one else around and running faucets. We decided to go for it. I washed my hair beneath the spigot and I washed Danne’s lying down on a picnic table. Nothing beats a mountain shower in the morning sunbeams. It was awesome. Ranger Don came up to greet us and said he almost just locked us in but to take out time and enjoy the view – he was a nice fellow – we talked of the weather and then he was off in his pickup truck. We spent some more time up on the mountain and packed it in.
We had a big day at Yellowstone and had to be ready for it… as soon as we crossed the Wyoming border we were ready. Bring on the wildlife, geysers, mountains and lakes. On our way to the celestial pool and geysers we passed a buffalo roaming about in the middle of the road. We pulled to the side and watched this majestic beast clomp down the road. It was crazy (obviously not a big deal at all..) Next, was the hot/thermal springs and geysers.. we took a walk around the explore more of this foreign habitat. Brilliantly blue colored pools bubbling with hot liquid met the salty sand and created a rusty orange glow around them. A bubbling tar/mud pit and very active geysers and the smell of sulfur and sweet trees. The best part – there wasn’t a lot of tourists surprisingly. It was mostly a couple handfuls of the 50 and over crowed as I imagine most kids were already back in school.
I’ve realized that it’s hard to really take in the National Parks. It’s almost as if you need weeks just to hike through it to really get a sense for it. It’s hard just driving your car through looking at the vastness of it all and really be able to take it all in. There comes a point where your affected state turns off – you keeping saying “wow” or “this is so beautiful” because you see it not because you are it. I want to be it. So we enjoyed our day at Yellowstone – we ended up taking a wrong turn and got to the Tetons – so we took the scenic route – who cares. We stopped at a lake to stretch out our limbs and on the way down I got stung by a bee. Luckily, it was just on my thumb so it swelled up but it could have been a lot worse.
I’ve also realized that I’ve learned to take care of myself on this trip – that I have the knowledge and understanding to be self sustaining and I was putting it to use. Danta and Ted had fun on the trip as well. They came out to see Old Faithful and got a lot of laughs. One little boy even thought I was a spy and told his Dad I was in disguise (I love kids). We continued on through the mountains and made our way South for Cody. We found the most beautiful campsite at Buffalo Bill State Park right next to the Shoshane River and these glorious butte like mountains. We watched the sunset and made a delicious dinner of falafel, spinach and Montana brews. The sunset cascaded golden rays on the crevasses of the mountains. After dinner we wrote for a while and watched the millions of stars pop up in the jet-black sky. The moon rose shortly after and illuminated the canyon walls. Danne and I both slept like logs that night and I awoke to very little room in the tent… ha ha.
It was working out pretty well between us – with some adjusting of course but she was doing really well for someone who had never camped before. I needed to remember to take my time and soak it all in. We’d be back soon and I wanted to feel it all before we got there…