Sorry! We haven't had internet for a few days... long story (I guess I'm good at that according to my nephew!). I'm a tad behind, but I figured I'd post this, and I'll try and get yesterday up, too. I haven't started today, but a very significant thing happened...
I FOUND MY MONEY!!!!
It was completely an accident, but I pulled a bunch of the brochures out and in a pocket I hadn't seen. Of all places, it was in my weight watchers folder. I picked it up and said 'why is this so thick?' My jaw dropped and Kathy looked at me. I didn't have to say a word! Yeah! Now we can actually eat again!
I'd like to say thank you for all your thoughts, prayers and unbelievably kind offers of support - especially Phil! You are incredible! I really had let it go; it's only money, right? Why let something as beautiful as this be ruined by money? I didn't - really I didn't, and with all your thoughts, you helped me! You're all so wonderful!
So, on with the show....
October 5, 2007
Our motel windows were opened this morning to the plump, white flakes of wetness. Ah yes, snow - another derivative of rain - so it would only make sense that that weather pattern would greet us at some point. The funny thing though, it actually made things a little better.
The whole park has a different feeling and look to it, like powdered sugar on Christmas cookies. It fills in the doldrums of the browns and yellows that we saw the previous day, and adds a sense of mystery to the peaks and valleys. The pines have a white shade to them now, as the condensation clings to their branches. This was a heavy snow, certainly a few inches, and once it found roost in the pine needles, it wasn’t going to give up easily.
Before we began our daily adventure, we stopped at the Town Café – a little souvenir shop that also served food. VERY diner. The people inside had a different look to them. I was fascinated by this one older woman with a rugged face and aged features. Her gray hair had streaks of her youth bunched in a single pony tail to the back. There were smile lines on her face, showing the emotions of her days, and a comfort about her that I can’t describe. She obviously enjoyed the color pink since everything she wore was a version of it. When they were finally ready to leave, she placed her thick sunglasses on her face, topped her head with a camouflage beret and swung her pinkish jacket over her shoulders to enter the elements.
As they walked out, they passed the Gatalin Forest Repel Team that was on the other side of our table. It turns out these folk actually repel out of helicopters to fight fires! One of the gentlemen said they were working on a controlled burn somewhere in the forest. What an interesting job.
Our waitress was obviously from some Slavic country, but I never got a chance to ask where. Everyone we met today was from somewhere else, looking for a little something different from life. Seems that transplants come for a season to find themselves and either head back home to
We entered the Roosevelt Arch and continued our journey back through
I also became fascinated with the snow on the brush. It sat, content, on the small bushes and brought depth to the pictures. This particular area also had a smell to it that is familiar, but on the tip of your tongue. Kathy and I decided it almost seemed like Rosemary – and the bushes certainly look like a relative of that herb – and permeated the air with a heavy odor. It was charming, and so natural.
Our next stop was the Mammoth Hot Springs. The lodge was there, filled with tourists and transplants. I guess I assumed the hotel actually housed the
We meandered up and down the paths, taking picture after picture, trying to figure out what we were actually looking at. It’s just weird, and amazing, but
The next leg took us past a lone Bison who nuzzled his way into the snow to find additional food, ripping the grasses from the earth for consumption. The snow the makes massive, fury beasts really stand out this time around.
Then we went to Sheepeaters cliff where little rocks are piled on top of each other, and someone decided to make a few snowmen. You can barely see their outline in the picture, but trust me, they’re there. We were also chased around by two ravens about two feet tall. These things have attitude!
More steaming phenomena occurred the further we got into the park. Rivers were boiling with
We saw lots of bodies of water along the way, and stopped to grab a few pictures of
They decided that my trial was worth following and they meandered over to the parking lot to continue their afternoon feast. Tourists piled into the area and we watched them saunter through the area, grazing here and there and taking their sweet time. Good for them – it’s their home. It was quite a sight though.
Our next stop was along the highway to Artist’s Paintpots. It was a blip on the map and there was a short paragraph in our guidebook about it. They mentioned bubbling mud, so I got all giddy and we decided to give it a look.
It was a short walk back through the Christmas tree sale and up some hills to see more steaming billows. We weren’t sure what to find, but it certainly wasn’t what we thought. Rainbows of color on the hills accented the mysterious steam. Little puddles of boiling water litter the landscape at every pass. We watched in fascination as a pond the size of $.50 piece gurgled, proud of the product it produced. A foot away, another strange pool babbled, neighbored by a deeper crevice that seemed almost like a reef. And the water is really hot! Kathy dared me to put my finger in, and it came back toasty warm, smelling a bit like sulfur. It’s the weirdest thing. And the colors these treasures create are just captivating. At every turn, there was something more bizarre than where we just were. Kathy said it reminded her of Mars and I wholeheartedly agree.
We climbed a little higher and saw more steam as we made our way to the mud. There, a crest of white-gray muck is just hanging out, burping every few seconds and covering the area in its creation. It seemed to look like potter’s clay, ready for molding, except that it’s bubbling and gurgling, and probably pretty warm (see above note). It also reminded me of pancake batter, especially when you have it hot on the griddle and the bottom side is just getting brown enough to flip over. Really, there is no explanation for this, but I’m doing my best here.
Right next door to that phenomenon is another puddle of mud, but this is way more active than its caged in neighbor. There are constant splashes from probably twenty little hot spots. It’s the same consistency as the other mud, except that this looks more like when you open the paint-by-numbers container and the oil is gathering at the top of the little plastic bottle before you mix it all up. Really cool stuff.
Our visit to the Artist’s paintpot completed as we ventured to the next area. I was really excited to find a waterfall, and we were granted the beauty a few miles down the road.
There is a picture I’ve seen of
The rain was getting to us and it started to get a little chilly as we got to Old Faithful Inn. They were sold out for the evening, so we ended up going back the way we’d come, past all the cool things we’d just seen and went to
We finally made it to