Today’s stop at Yellowstone started off exceptionally well. Despite dire predictions from The Weather Channel, the morning was a moderate mid-50’s and I dispensed with the heavy jacket upon arriving at the park.
Like Glacier, I wanted to join up with a ranger-led tour to find out details about the park that I might not get from random walking and sign reading. Also like Glacier, the tour guide was both knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I guess having your job being walking through all that natural wonder everyday makes coming to “work” quite enjoyable.
The tour was around the Norris Basin and the hot springs (there it is again) and geysers in the area. I learned great amounts of information about the geologic conditions necessary for the steam baths and hot water, as well as the admonition to not stray from the path. Getting a hot foot would be the least of your worries.
The rest of the park was filled with the natural wonders and beauty that words don’t easily express. In fact, I stopped taking pictures after a while because they were paltry representations of the splendor. Go there. Don’t watch it on TV or read a book. Be awed.
Miscellany 0f Day 27:
– During the ride through these various farm states I have been shaking my head at these huge sprinkler systems on the fields. I finally looked up the contraptions (called Center Pivot Irrigation) and found that they range from 820 feet (small fields) to 2,800 feet (that’s half a mile, folks).
Out of curiosity, I tried to find the price of these monsters. One page I looked up had a 1,000 foot one listed at $52,000. Just for the machine. Add in the power, water lines, etc. Wow. Think about that the next time you wonder about potato prices.
– The path to West Yellowstone from Driggs took me onto Idaho 32. This is an unbelievable road. I’m sure there are plenty like them, but it’s 65 mph on undulating roller-coaster type rises and drops. As you ride up the incline you cannot see anything beyond the hill. Nothing. I got the feeling at each rise that the car would just continue on into thin air and then, like Wile E. Coyote, I would look out the window and realize I would be dropping straight down. Part fun and part terror.
– During the tour, a family from Australia (Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter) had the whole group smiling. The daughter had apparently boned-up on Yellowstone info and every time the Ranger asked a question, her hand shot up. More times than not, she was totally correct. The Ranger offered her his job at least twice.
– My good fortune with the GNABRT continues. I made the acquaintance of a nice couple in the group who were on their own tour of parks (just as in Glacier, though that was a mother and daughter). We veered off from the tour to take the long way around the basin and we shared pleasant conversation all the way through. I maintain there are just many, many more nice people in the world than is given credit for, as I have yet to experience a nasty person on my trip.
Tomorrow, it’s off to Denver for a Rockies baseball game and then it’s another “break” in the schedule to visit friends. After that, it gets a bit hot and heavy, with 7 games in 8 days (madness). Let’s see if I can still pull off the daily blogs during that stretch!