Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 9: Yellowstone (pt 1)

Day 9. P got up before I did and went to the ranger station in to verify the daily forecast was snow. Yep, snow. I played with my suffering voice all morning until I realized it was a little painful, at which point we mutually decided to take the morning leisurely. We unpacked our scarves and gloves and head out to find an early lunch before going into the park:

P tried to cheer me up, little did we know we were about to have one of the most magical lunches of the entire trip. Not long after the food arrived, a couple came into the diner and asked if they could share our table. Richard and Mary from England proceeded to entertain us with adventure stories from Yellowstone, their own cross-country, as well as a smattering of Britishisms that were seriously, incredibly adorable.

It turns out these two had also been driving I-80 across America ("We came over on the Queen Mary! We should have hopped a ride with you!") from New York to Seattle, where their grandchildren lived. They might be horrified to see their morning selves on the internet, but it was so wonderful to meet such friendly fellow travelers. It was their second time to Yellowstone, they warned us of all the expenses in the park yet again, and they laughed as they told us all about the marvels of the American landscape. Like our waitress in Billings the previous day, it was such a comfort to meet such open and enthusiastic people willing to share their experience while far away from home. Mary and Richard, may you both live golden lives.

* * *
From lunch, it was straight into the park, the mountains (even further), and the snow. We saw a herd of elk along the road driving in, and pulled over at the first sign of a nature walk. This lead us to the hot springs:

I took another video entering into this part of the park, but I babbled pretty relentlessly in it... so I'm still not quite sure if I will post it here or just in my Flickr. Anyway, the hot springs were beautiful, such a range of colors! It was raining a fat, heavy snow (see below), so we got back to the car and drove for a while, stopping only to pull over by the curb. in Yellowstone they understand that you'll be amazed every 20 feet or so, and provide areas along the road to pull over and take pictures, or just stand in awe (we did a lot of that). Meanwhile, consulting the map... and hoping for a pause in snow, you see how cinematic the whole effect was:

The deeper we got into the park, of course, the bigger the trees...

It did stop snowing after several miles, more from those photographs later... I'm all blogged-out for today.


Celeste said...

ah, yellowstone! :o)

this is OT, but one of the blogs I read has had some interesting posts about how to create repeating patterns - I thought you might be interested:

She is also talking about getting her designing done for Halloween and Xmas! Yikes!

Celeste said...

d'oh - here's another one i thought would be especially interesting to the book luvah/ illustrator in you:

mushroommeadows said...

gee..I DO hope you get better soon!

it's ALWAYS lovely meeting new people. They look like sweet people too! :)