Today is the perfect day for a drive through Yellowstone. Blue sky and sunshine. The crew is quiet 0n the bench seat. The plan is to drive up to Old Faithful which should make for a comfortable, relaxed morning trip.
The speed limit in the park is 45 mph, unless posted lower.
Of course, if you drive 45 mph, because that’s what the signs say and there are wildlife in abundance, people, a collection of vehicles gathers behind you, pressuring you to hurry up. Several times I pull over to let cars pass. What is the big rush?
I can tell I’m still feeling the after effects of lying awake listening to the chatterboxes last night.
Usually I’m a live-and-let-live person. I like to think I’m tolerant and respectful of other people’s needs and differences. However, I can get in a mood where I can’t seem to think of one good thing about anyone. This trait is in full bloom by the time we reach Old Faithful…
What a mess.
The parking lot is several rows full. People are walking around like zombies, going in and out of the Visitor’s Center, gift shop, and whatever those other buildings are. I manage to find a spot to park. It’s way in the back of the lot. Bridget and Spike are sound asleep. Little Spikey is really zonked out as evidenced by his head drooping over the side of the passenger seat (into which he has the right to sit given he’s my copilot).
That’s when I realize something very strange.
I don’t have the slightest desire to wake up the crew, get out of the PTV, walk across this hot parking lot, and join the throngs of automatons heading to see . . . . what? Something I’ve seen numerous times in television documentaries.
A car pulls out of a space in front of us.
It is immediately replaced by another car. Four sour-faced teenaged girls crawl out of the vehicle. They share a family resemblance so I assume they are sisters. Oh, how put upon they are! Someone paid for their admittance to a national park of great reknown, forced them to ride in an air-conditioned vehicle (with comfy seat cushions, no doubt), drove them past a pristine lake and a magnificent waterfall, and then expect them to look at a natural wonder. What a pain! Gosh, what’s the matter with parents! Don’t they know there’s no cell phone coverage in this godforsaken place!
The parents exit the vehicle as their well-fed daughters squint and scowl.
As expected, the mother is a mere shadow of her former self, shrunken and tired-looking. Ol’ dad looks like he’s been on automatic pilot since before the Clinton administration.
What’s the matter with me?
Am I going to sit here being critical of everyone who walks by? I pick up the brochure handed me at the entrance to Yellowstone. I read the rules. Oh great. No pets allowed at hypothermal sites. I look at the gathering throng. It could be another hour before the geyser erupts. Do I really want to do this?
I give it long consideration.
After all, I did drive all the way up here to see this thing. I come to the realization that pink champagne could be gushing 200 feet into the air right now and I wouldn’t walk across this parking lot to see it. I don’t want to stand around with a bunch of people.
I put the PTV in drive and leave.
I feel better already. On the way back, the crew and I enjoy some playtime at Lewis Lake. This is more to my liking![slideshow]
Note: The next morning, after photographing the sunrise at Grassy Lake Road Camp, the crew and I break camp and go back toward the town of Dubois where I know I can obtain a WiFi connection.
We’ve been here at the Falls Campground for about five days. I’ll report on this pretty campground in my next post. I’m writing this in a parking lot. Hence, the lack of creativity in the writing! I’m having difficulty preparing the slideshow. As you can see, it’s not coming out right. I can’t fix it now.
We probably will go back to the Tetons and Yellowstone before leaving the area. If you don’t hear from us for several days, it means we are in the mountains.
July Out-of-Pocket Expenditures:07/01/12 . . . $3.50 camp fee (Cottonwood CG) 07/02/12 . . . $12.53 groceries, $10 Crazy Horse entrance fee, $3.50 camp fee (Cottonwood CG) 07/03/12 . . . $$3.50 camp fee (Cottonwood CG) 07/04/12 . . . $25.20 groceries, $14.00 clothing (souvenir cap – Wild Horse Sanctuary), $3.50 camp fee (Cottonwood CG) 07/05/12 . . . $38.81 for 8.33 gal. gas @ $3.59 gal., $10.50 groceries, $10 camp fee (Bear Butte SP) 07/06/12 . . . $10 camp fee (Bear Butte SP) 07/07/12 . . . $398 laptop, $49.26 groceries, $22.96 sundries, $5.47 dog food, $0 camp fee (Flying J) 07/08/12 . . . $14.14 for 4.6 gal. propane @ $2.89 gal., $0 camp fee (Sheridan City Park) 07/09/12 . . . $0 camp fee (mall parking lot, Casper) 07/10/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (Brooks Lake) 07/11/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (Brooks Lake) 07/12/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (Brooks Lake) 07/13/12 . . . $39.68 groceries, $7.50 camp fee (Brooks Lake), $4.00 shower 07/14/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (Brooks Lake) 07/15/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (Brooks Lake) 07/16/12 . . . $77.56 for 21.19 gal. gas @3.65 gal., $11.81 groceries, $7.50 camp fee (Brooks Lake) 07/17/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (Brooks Lake) 07/18/12 . . . $0 camp fee (Grassy Lake Rd) 07/19/12 . . . $0 camp fee (Grassy Lake Rd) 07/20/12 . . . $0 camp fee (Grassy Lake Rd) 07/21/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (The Falls) 07/22/12 . . . $50.26 for 13.74 gal. gas @ $3.65 gal., $19.53 groceries, $10.25 laundry, $7.50 camp fee (The Falls) 07/23/12 . . . $17.68 groceries, $7.50 camp fee (The Falls) 07/24/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (The Falls) 07/25/12 . . . $7.50 camp fee (The Falls)