On Wednesday Rob graciously sent me back to Yellowstone so that I could drive the Northern Loop and see a little more of the park. It was amazing landscape and I enjoyed it, though it was an odd place to be by myself.
I decided that Yellowstone is sort of the Disneyland of National Parks, with lots of different attractions, and so big that it has different "lands" to it. For example, I would say that Mammoth Hot Springs and its town are like Main Street. Roosevelt is like Frontierland. Old Faithful and its Lodge are the national park equivalent of Cinderella's castle. I just couldn't believe the variety in the geology and the flora. I didn't see much fauna aside from birds and a lone woodchuck.
Once I reached the lower falls I had a decision to make: I could go back the way I came and cross two sections of construction which would delay me an hour sitting in my car and listening to The Very Best of Erasure, or power on ahead and drive the entire southern loop like a madwoman. I added up the mileage and decided on the second option.
It was crazy and by the time I got home I had been driving and visiting things for 9.5 hours.
That is one huge park.
I had most hoped to see bison -- don't ask me why, but I had buffalo on the brain. Right after seeing the Grand Canyon and Lower Falls, there was a traffic jam. This one was well worth it, though. First was one bison crossing the street. Then dozens and dozens of them across a wide meadow, sitting and standing and rolling in dust and fighting and being their improbably shaggy and front heavy selves.
While I'd been out driving Yellowstone, the folks back at the lake had not been standing idly by.
They'd been moving boats and fishing gear down to the lake and making the first forays into huckleberry picking. We'd been warned that there were none to be had because of the late spring, but Rob and Tania willed the berries to ripen. They managed to pick eight or nine cups that first day. It was only enough to whet their appetite.
Adults and children fished off the dock and in the boat, but the trout were not having any of it. They had given it up for fishy lent.
Rob and I served dinner down at the dock and used Dorothy's tailgate as a buffet.
After dinner John took four kids out in the motorboat and let Will drive.
Will was in heaven.
John is going straight to heaven.
Rob dusted off his old merit badge and took me and Fluff out for a ride in the canoe.
Then we had a very small, probably illegal bonfire to make some s'mores.
Dorothy brought the gigantical marshmallows.
and they were appreciated.