We've made it to civilization after four days in Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Coming to you live from the side of a hill in gorgeous American Falls, Idaho. I have never been to Idaho, and I feel right now like I have missed something great and powerful about the American landscape. Anyway. I'm sitting in a Subaru piloted by Neil, Rebecca's uncle, on the side of a hill near an old Ford Explorer that has a transmitter for internet.
There is really too much to tell you about our four days in the wilderness, and I don't want to keep everyone hostage in this car while I go on and on about our adventures with Bison (cause traffic jams), bears (generate anxiety but are generally hard to come by), boiling rivers (hot spring + cold river = awesome), long hikes into pristine wildernesses (Hellroaring creek, Lamar valley, Inspiration point), running into some fine Field folk in the Mammoth restaurant and then in our campground, and roasting donuts.
Instead I will give you 10 photographs, with captions, to try to capture something of the majesty we saw during our time in the woods. The photos here are presented in chronological order.
This is the boiling river, just inside the park boundary. We loved the experience (half of your body very hot, the other very cold) so much that we went twice.
A mineral deposit terrace around the mammoth hot springs. Side note: right before we went up to see the hot springs we saw a bunch of elk grazing outside of the gift shop and then ran into Dale and Carrie and Carl and Walt Johnson.
Self-timer taken on the Specimen ridge trail, above the Lamar valley. On this hike I actually got Rebecca to sing (or hum, really). We were trying to make noise to keep the bears away. Note that you will not see a single picture of a bear included here. We had bear spray, but no bears.
Did you know that the Yellowstone river had a grand canyon? This is it. Side note: there's this trail called Uncle Tom's trail that goes down about 3/4 of a mile to see the lower falls (it's basically straight down, and quite an invigorating hike first thing in the morning). We got quite a workout descending into the canyon.
I decided only to include one photograph of Bison, though we took many. There are many, many bison in Yellowstone, and they are easily viewable from (and on) the roads. The bears, however, are much less visible.
This is a view of the Hayden valley. Yes, there are bison in this picture, but what interests me is the game trails you see at the bottom of the picture leading into the valley. River's pretty to.
This is the Yellowstone river early in the morning. This was one of our last views of the river. Rebecca took a bunch photos of it with her fancy camera.
We crossed the continental divide on our way to the Tetons. We will cross it at least two more times before we get to Oregon. In other news: did you know that Idaho, where we currently sit, shares a border with Oregon, where we are headed? Next stop: Boise, then Montana, then Washington, then...Oregon.
A view of the Tetons from the trail we hiked up to Inspiration point. That's Jenny lake off to the left.
We found this creek on our way out, and lounged around by it, and I went for a swim and then took this arty photograph.
We survived our first adventure in bear country without a single encounter with a bear, but we will have many more opportunities when we hit Glacier in a few days. The sun has set here in Boise, and we're going to head back down the mountain to Neil and Marita's home-made house (about which more later) for a good night's sleep.