On Tuesday, the Lyons took us to Yellowstone. Rob had been once as a teenager and none of the rest of us had ever been. We began with a lot of traffic. We were riding along and the professor was disparaging my footwear, which wasn't as cool as all of the high-budget Tevas I get for the rest of the family. Tania walked back and handed us park literature, the going was so slow. The second time she came back Rob suggested that we get out and get a walk in since nothing else was happening. So I jumped out to talk to Tania.
At which point the traffic began to pick up.
To 15 mph.
At my very best, I can maintain about a third of that for short stretches. In pink flip-flops?
So Tania and I pounded along the shoulder, getting more and more winded. John called on the cell phone. I answered and said "[wheeze] We're behind you! [pant] Can't keep up! [harghhwnnpt] See you soon!" John and Rob eventually pulled over and Tania and I heaved ourselves back in. The professor said he had warned me that I had on dumb shoes.
I threw the cell phone at him.
It turns out that the traffic jam was all about three lousy elk! After seeing them in the same spot on four different occasions, I think they were animatronic. Maybe radio controlled.
After that we drove directly to the best thing in the park: riding the rapids on the Firehole River. Here is a primer for the uninitiated:
First you swim across the river . . .
climb over the rocks to the launch point
and jump . . .
jump . . .
jump . . .
(or as Sebi did you can take the beginner level and just jump from here . . .)
then you float . . .
and you float . . .
until you float down here.
everyone loved it
Joss took a nap on the shore which gave everyone else the chance to ride the rapids some more.
A hopeful chipmunk sneaking some snacks was the only wildlife we saw here, though when we returned home, our neighbor informed us that when she was working here as a maid at the Old Faithful Lodge in the 1950's, she and three other employees came to swim in the Firehole River. Soon they were joined by two bears! They skeedaddled out of the water and ran back to the road to hitchhike home!