Friday, July 27
On the way out of The Falls Campground I stop at the water spigot to fill up my eight water jugs. I decide to take a photo of this mundane task to include in the blog, but my rechargeable batteries are dead, even though I charged them up recently. Oh well, not exactly a must-have photo!
You know what always happens when the camera isn’t working.
About four miles up Highway 26 I come over a rise to see cars parked along the road. Hmmm . . . What’s this all about? A young woman is halfway out of her sunroof, pointing a camera at a meadow below the road. I rubberneck in that direction, but I can’t see anything unusual. I keep on driving, very slowly. As I go on past the parked cars, I look to the left, and there, trotting alongside the road on the shoulder, is a very big grizzly bear followed by two cubs! Holy cow . . . er . . . bear!
We move along, keeping pace with each other, until I get over the shock of such a unexpected, marvelous sight.
I can see Mama Grizzly wants to cross the road. I stop and she does just that, about ten feet in front of the PTV’s hood. She hesitates, turns her head, and gives me a brief glance, which her two cubs imitate. What a photo! Three grizzlies giving me the eye! Darn, darn, darn!
She’s much bigger than the grizzly that I repeatedly saw at the Brooks Lake campground. She fits the description of a larger grizzly that Larry saw . . . light brown fur, older, and big. It may be the same one.
Do I have all the luck or what?
Saturday, July 28
After a quiet night at Grassy Lake Road Camp, the crew and I pull out early. I stop at Flagg Ranch to gas up before getting on the main road to Yellowstone. A fiftyish couple approach. Their eyes are on the Best Little Trailer. “That’s a nice trailer you’ve got,” the man comments.
“Oh yes, it is,” I respond. “I love it!” They ask me several questions which I proudly answer, my spirits lifted by the admiration given my little home-on-wheels.
The south entrance of Yellowstone is only about two miles up the highway.
I get out my National Park Pass (Senior Pass) and my new South Dakota driver’s license as I drive up to the entrance booth.
“Good morning!” the attendant calls out. I hand him my cards. “How do you like your Casita?”
I smile. Gee, I must have done a bang-up job cleaning the BLT. She’s turning heads today. “I love it! I absolutely love it!”
“You know,” the attendant remarks, “Everybody who drives up here with a Casita or one of those Scamps tells me they love their trailer.” He asks a few questions which I answer, glancing in my side mirror to see if anyone is pulling up behind me. This attendant is so friendly and talkative! He’d make a great camp host. Before I drive off, he sums up our mutual opinion of little fiberglass trailers. “Why haul around more than you need?”
“That’s right!” Wow! Two testimonials and it’s not even nine o’clock!
I settle into a relaxed speed of 45 mph as we proceed northward through the park. Bridget and Spike fall asleep. I turn off the main road at the Grant Village sign. Blog readers Kevin and Robin invited me via the comments section of my blog to stop by the store so we can meet.
I leave the crew in the PTV and enter the gift shop.
I wander around, looking over several t-shirts and sweatshirts with YELLOWSTONE emblazoned across the chest. Well, these are nice, but do I want strangers coming up to me to chat about Yellowstone? I think I’ll pass. I’m not the souvenir t-shirt type. I ask a man working the restaurant counter where I might find a guy named Kevin who works there. “He’s right over there,” he tells me, pointing back toward the gift shop area.
I’m wearing one of my dopey hats so I’ll be recognizable.
“Hey! You’re Sue, right?” Kevin greets me with a smile. We shake hands. “That’s my wife Robin over there.” He gestures toward the lady working the cash register. She’s very busy with customers. “There are so many people at the Park this year.”
After we talk for a few moments, I mention I’d better get outside because I left the crew in the PTV.
“Well, I’m on my break, so let’s go,” Kevin offers.
“You’ve got a real good set-up here. The PTV has doors on both sides,” he remarks approvingly. I consider opening up the back doors of the PTV to show Kevin the interior, but then I decide against it, given he’s not wearing any protective gear against the inevitable avalanche. (I tried a new arrangement of my stuff behind the bench seat and it was a bad idea.)
I warn Kevin to step back before I open the side door of the PTV. Bridget and Spike explode out the door with their usual enthusiasm for a new place. They’re all wiggles around Kevin’s feet as he recognizes them by name and gives them some attention.
This rving and blogging life is funny.
I can walk up to someone I’ve never met and instantly we’re talking as if we’ve been pals for years. Believe me, it’s not my winning personality. Kevin and Robin, commenters on my blog and bloggers themselves, www.chasinourdreams.blogspot.com, work at Yellowstone’s Grant Village three days a week, earning some money and benefits, while enjoying the summer in this beautiful location. This winter they’ll workkamp in the San Antonio-Big Bend area of Texas, not far from their Austin home.
It’s time for Kevin to go back inside.
We exchange goodbyes. “Say hi to Robin for me!”
Not far from Grants Village, I make the turn toward West Yellowstone. Soon I see the sign toreduce speed. A right turn goes to Old Faithful. No, thank you. I’m not entering that mess again.
Then the unexpected happens . . . another rvsue moment!
I glance to my right, and at that moment, through a gap in the trees, past the roofs of the buildings clustered near the geyser, steam flies high into the air. “Hey, rvsue! Look over here! It’s me! Old Faithful! Thought you’d drive by without seeing me, didn’t you!”
I recall reading that the interval between eruptions of the geyser may be as long as 126 minutes.
I shake my head with amazement, laugh, and keep on driving.[slideshow]
This slideshow includes some more photos taken at The Falls Campground and the Grassy Lake Road Camp. Please forgive me for so many pics of Spike in the water. I want a record of his happy times. Next post I’ll include some photos of Yellowstone, although few in number, due to batteries that keep failing. Gee, we can send a man to the moon . . . .