What better way to start Day 2 than friend Misty’s Choice: The Southwest Quadrant. We toured the Old Faithful/Geysers section of the park. Lots of bubbly things and you’re saying, “Yeah, that’s nice. I’ve read this over and over, la-di-da…” I gotcha there, and match your ace with a jack, as we tooled up the hillside several hundred feet above the Old Faithful basin to the Overlook – of the entire flippin’ valley! The OF geyser is magnificent from a distance, topped by our downhill trip’s sojurn toward Solitary Geyser and into the basin of several colorful geyers. All without moving the van, topped by lunch in the shade of cool ponderosa pines. Yep, I was right for once – touristing takes a long time, so don’t crunch your schedule and miss huckleberry ice cream and hot apple cider at the lodge!
“Northward, hoooo!” The van zooms off as we make endless tourista-bashing observations, ones intended to make us uppity and better than those silly folks around us. Color us abashed and silly when we take a driving loop toward Firehole Lake and a greyish wolf saunters across the lane. “Silly people, you gawk like tourista!” No matter, we kept getting out of the van and seeing sights like the surreal misty Grand Prismatic Geyser and bison snacking near those geysers. Colors beyond imagination, smells beyond bearing and the sounds beyond silence: hissing, bubbling, and bison moo’ing.
Then an evening under the stars, when on my third trip I finally hear it – elk bugling. Eerily touching and a startling 10 PM reminder that you and I, without electricity, firearms and other modernities, are so hosed if we spent a few days in THEIR backyard. Nature, beautiful and disarming, but at one’s one possible peril.
Dinner: Australian beer-something Wings and Brats. Wings marinated two days. A succulent evening.
Smithsonian Article du Jour: This 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows that the Romans Were Nanotechnology Pioneers