Note: When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.

Day 6. Monday Sep 14, 2009. Grand Tetons to Yellowstone

It rained last night and this morning, but has stopped now. Jerry, who's normally up very early, is up early drying off the stepoff tarp we lay out at the foot of the trailer steps, to minimize bringing dust and dirt into the trailer.

Then while the wives are setting the interior for travel, Jerry and I get the truck and fifth wheel trailer hitched up, for travel.

We (except Jerry) decided to have a leisurely "lie-in" as the British call it this morning. We would say "We slept in." But about 10 am we're off, headed north.

Do you know when you wake up, and you KNOW you just had the most astounding, wonderful dream, BUT you can't remember it? I made this note in my digital audio recorder: "... so don't be a wild horse in Nevada or a deer in Kansas City." Now what the heck do you suppose I meant by that? Me neither.

{Ithink Shirley and I were talking about people who move into a rural area and then complain about the "wild animals" eating their bushes. In Nevada where Jeane and Red used to live, people petitioned to have the rangers get rid of the wild horses who, of course, had been there first, because the horses would come every day and eat their lawns and decorative bushes. I guess that got into Bob's dream.}

So here's our planned route for today.

Click on the map for a larger view.

As we're leaving the RV park, we stop for some final pictures, in a line of vehicles. We had heard a scratching sound somewhere behind us, and Shirley sees that a strip of metal has come partially loose from a big vehicle, and she goes back to tell them. Before she can open her mouth, the wife says to Shirley, "I know. I know."

So off we go, and the results of the rainy weather have made a fabulous cloud experience for us.

We follow a big red bus through the Yellowstone NP entry station, which is one of the more rustic ones I've seen.

About 11:30, we see our first buffalo. He has gone from this side of the river, into the river and is walking in the river itself, before climbing up the other side.

About fifteen minutes later, I snap this photo of Jerry and Shirley Lewis.

And here are the small falls in the background. Lewis Falls. That reminds me of the drunk fellow stumbling down the street when he comes to a junk store. On the window is advertised, "Cast Iron Sinks." "Ever'body knows that," he says.

Three happy vacationers. {Look at me here in this picture and then back 4 pictures. Which is my real height? I'm either standing in a hole at Lewis Falls or on a box in front of the Tetons.}

We stop at Grant Village and Jerry buys a one-week fishing permit, hoping to have some success with his newly purchased, collapsible rod and reel.

A little before noon, we cross the continental divide, which is the north-south running backbone of the Rocky Mountains. So it's not just a straight line. We will cross this several times during our week here. This one is at 7798 feet.

And a little after noon, we come to our first geyser basin in Yellowstone.

The upper thing that looks like an eyeglass's lens is the boardwalk around the basin, with one boardwalk crossing through the middle. There are occasional fingers that allow you to see a particular feature here and there.

I love the smell of sulfur in the morning.

The basin is right on the edge of Yellowstone Lake.

{Fishing Geyser. They used to advertise that you could catch your fish here from the lake and cook it in the boiling water of this geyser without even taking it off the hook.}

Early well-to-do Easterners who came to Yellowstone thought it was a mirror of the hell below and didn't like it. But people like Theodore Roosevelt were hugely impressed.

I understand that the bluer the color, the hotter the water {because no microorganisms can live in it. the other colors of the pools can tell you their temperature because scientists now know which organisms grow at specific temperatures. See the things you can learn by reading the information signs. Bob always heads out onto the paths and then is amazed by the things I tell him (which obviously, I just read.)}

Blue, blue, blue. Hot, hot, hot.

A nice view across West Thumb Basin, with Yellowstone Lake in the distance.

This shows off Sharon's New Zealand walking stick very well. And you can only see me from the waist up, with those camouflage pants, though you CAN see the shoes of course, which are not camo.

We continue north, past Lake Village, turning right at Fishing Bridge intersection. We drive across the bridge itself, then past the gas station, the visitor center/store and the recycle center, then turn left and get in the check-in line at the RV park.

We are in our spot and set up at about four pm. The woods are right across from our site. Excellent! We were told that bears may come around, and to be wary. I tried to get a guarantee out of them that the bears will come, but they backed off from that.

We relax for about five minutes then decide to find Hayden Valley, where buffalo, elk, wolves, grizzlies and coyotes are sometimes seen. We can't wait.

We find several pullouts, after driving along the Yellowstone River a bit, and at the last one, we spot a herd of buffalo on our left, but they are WAY off in the distance. As we are waiting, a large raptor lands on a bluff, but we can't make out what it is. Probably an immature bald eagle, but it's just too far away.

We head back to camp, have dinner and with our Okey game set, we play a game of Rummikub, and have a festive evening before hitting the sack. We'll be up early tomorrow, to see what mammals we can.


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