Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Trip To Yellowstone - Part 2

A view of the lake while driving across the Fishing Bridge.............

After slowly making our way beyond the female bison on one side of the road, and the huge male that was growling at her from the opposite side of the road, we continued wandering in and out of slow moving and stopped vehicles, enjoying the site of the herds in the valley but also wanting to finally get to our destination..............
When we finally saw a sign that told us the Fishing Bridge was 16 miles away I called Barb to let her know that we were close.
She had traveled from Cody to meet us, and although we had traveled much further I still felt badly that we were running so late.
I should have known.
This was Yellowstone in the summer, and travel through the park was always slow and tedious.
I should have remembered but didn't, and while LC drove I made small talk on the phone with my Wyoming friend.
Barb has been through a number of ongoing medical challenges over the past few years but is finally on the road to renewed strength and recovery.
That, her strong faith and her almost unfailingly positive outlook on life and on the world seem to sustain her.  
She was unperturbed about our tardiness, but I was still glad to finally find our way to the Fishing Bridge.
A blog post and pictures of the Bridge from a previous trip to Yellowstone in November of 2012.  No tourists.  No warmth.  A silent and grey day, with a park that would soon be in hibernation.  To me the very best time to see the park:
After a long and almost sleepless night, and after a direct and uneventful trip to the West Gate of Yellowstone, and after a very slow and beautiful drive to the bridge, we finally made it.
Only 45 minutes late when it was all said and done.
The weather that had begun much earlier in the morning as completely sunny had gradually transitioned to mostly cloudy, and almost the moment we arrived at the Visitor Center is began to rain.
It didn't matter.
August last year had been 95 degrees and unrelentingly sunny almost the entire month.
August this year has ranged from 60s'-80's.
Fall weather in Tennessee.  
This year, summer weather in Idaho.
After greeting each other we each pulled out our picnic foods and spent time together talking and eating in the rain..................
LC and I had been to the Fishing Bridge a number of times over the years but had never stopped at the Visitor Center close to the bridge.
Neither of us had ever had interest in seeing a Visitor Center.
We were in Yellowstone National Park for goodness sakes!
We were in a world of wolves and bears and buffalo and elk and mountains and rivers and lakes.
It was a magical world, and each time we visited the park we wanted to see just as much of it as we could in the time we had to spend.
But on this day, when we had only a short amount of time (and when we had business to do and a lady to visit with), I was content to spend some of our precious Yellowstone-time staying in one place.
We ate, we talked, we transferred a car load of stuff and crammed it into the back of the Tahoe, and then we all wandered together down to the lake.
Seating for an outdoor amphitheater seen along the pathway, on the short walk to the lake................
The back of the Visitor Center..
A beautiful and rustic stone and log structure..............
We walked beyond the Visitor Center, walked down one more pathway, and suddenly (and unexpectedly) I was transported back in time to Juneau Alaska.
The path had opened up to a view that looked completely familiar to me.
Dark and overcast sky.
Sucker patches of blue (that always suckered you into thinking - usually incorrectly - that a patch of blue sky SURELY was the promise of clearer skies to come).
Pine trees.  Grey and cold lake.  Quiet cove.  Mountains close and mountains in the distance.
This place could have been any number of pull-offs that I regularly stopped at and walked and photographed, while trying to decompress from work on the way home in Juneau.
The transportation back in time for a few moments was a little disorienting.
That deja vu lasted only briefly and I finally stood for a few moments on gravely beach enjoying the sight that was in front of me..................
LC and Kory stayed on the paths and headed back towards the picnic tables and parking lot that was located in front of the Visitors Center, while Barb and I quickly walked into the building through the back door............
A little less than two hours after we met up with Barb, and it was time to go.
She still has little energy for extended adventures, and we still had a long way to go to get home.
And now that we were in the park we wanted to take our time going back the way we had come.
There was much to see and we wanted to see as much as we could.
All in one long and exciting blur of a trip...................

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