Two more great days. I’m getting slow like Shill. I still can’t believe my blog is in the same place as his. Coming from Massachusetts, I am a Red Sox fan. In fact, it’s been fun being able to watch them here in W Yellowstone, MT at a reasonable hour. They’ve been playing the Seattle Mariners, so I have been able to watch them without staying up to some ungodly hour. Too bad they haven’t been playing very well. Pitching … well, pitching has been lousy. Get well soon, Shill. They need you back in game shape.
Yesterday we traveled to Teton National Park, which is south of Yellowstone NP. On the way out of Yellowstone, we finally saw a moose – actually 2, a cow and her calf. It was an incredible sight until a very noisy bus went by. Moose are very skittish and mom promptly rushed her baby deeper into the woods and out of sight. I just love noisy vehicles! The mountains soar above anything you can imagine, with snow still on the tops.
My husband had talked to park rangers and found out about an area where the wildlife viewing was very good, so we headed in that direction. It was the oxbow of the Snake River. We had barely started our drive through the area when we spotted them — beavers swimming from shore to shore. Beavers are usually nocturnal, so seeing them swimming in mid-morning was a treat. We scrambled down a relatively steep river bank path to try to get closer and get some better pictures. When the little guy spotted us, he made for the nearest shelter along the bank, maybe 50 ft away. I’m pretty patient when it comes to getting photos of wildlife, but I also knew the distance would make for a pretty poor picture. There was no path along the river’s edge. So I took off my shoes and socks, found a long branch that I could use as a staff and set out wading along the rock laden riverbed. Good thing they were rounded, river worn stones! I got back on the bank about 5 ft from the burrow entry and waited. I got a few distance shots of other beavers while I waited. Then my patience paid off – sort of. The little stinker took off from the burrow – under water! Interestingly, he came back and brought another beaver with him – power in numbers? I did get a few good shots. Of course, I’ll pay a price for ignoring the fibromyalgia. But it felt so good, I didn’t care – at least for the moment.
On the way back into Yellowstone, we stopped at the Lewis Lake picnic area – nature always calls, right? We parked the car, started walking across the parking lot – when a man with an RV called to us to warn us that there was a wolf near one of the trash disposal areas. We thanked him and took care of what we had stopped for. Then we checked the area he had described. It wasn’t a wolf, it was a coyote. Nice looking, well-fed but a coyote nonetheless. I had had a sneaking suspicion that would be the case. After all, what self-respecting wolf would allow himself to be seen scrounging for scraps around the trash?!! Wolves also don’t particularly like to pose for pictures, either and this guy let me take as many pictures as I wanted. Food overcomes fear – you know, I think that might apply to people, too.
Today was going to be a “water day.” We planned to spend our time on and around Yellowstone Lake. This lake is huge, about 141 miles of shoreline and very deep in many places, as much as 430 ft deep in some places. Water temperature is about 45 degrees F. Not really swimming temp. We had planned to go on a late morning scenic boat tour, but they were all booked until the 2:45 PM trip. We took that one then tried to decide what to do for the next few hours. We decided to rent a row boat for an hour. This was an interesting choice for several reasons; I know how to row, haven’t done it in many years due to fibromyalgia and since I still have fibromyalgia, I can no longer row; my husband, on the other hand, does not know how to row, had never rowed before today, and additionally never learned how to swim. Don’t we sound like the perfect pair to be setting out in a boat on a huge, deep, cold lake? But as usual, we worked as a team. I sat in the stern instead of the bow so that I could “coach” my husband, the rower. I think I was doing subliminal rowing, because when we got back, my own muscles felt like they had done work they’re not used to doing. My husband’s a quick study, so he caught on quickly. We had a great time and I know how much he loves me, that he would do something he feared to make me happy. It took remarkable courage to step into that boat, even with a PFD. But I guess that’s what courage is: being afraid of something but doing it anyway.
We got some lunch at the Lake Lodge, then headed back for a scenic boat tour. It was somewhat disappointing. Our guide was a rookie, we didn’t go close to the shoreline and the information they gave out was mostly statistics and numbers – not exactly enlightening. To make matters worse, the elderly gent sitting in front of us was passing lethal “air.” He was really giving the sulfurous springs around the park a run for their money. Good thing the window next to us was opened! We couldn’t get back to port fast enough for me!!
After a snack, we headed back to the hotel, taking time out to watch a bald eagle soaring over. The scenic boat tour was not nearly as much fun as we anticipated. But the row boat adventure more than made up for it.
I can’t believe there are only 2 days of fun left before we fly back to reality on Saturday. But I won’t think of that now. I’ll focus on the time in the present. What will tomorrow bring?!