continued from part four...
For a moment, I considered staying up on top of the Rocky Mountains forever. Sitting cross-legged on the peak, a calm in the approaching storm, an eternal part of nature, alive as the electricity in the air.
Alas, Apollo's chariot was in the latter half of it's arc, and I shook myself from my reverie.. It was time to move on. So, I got back in my car, but not before flashing the vista one last panoramic smile.
Barreling down the Rockies past the Grand Teton towards Yellowstone National Park I couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment. I was really doing this! I felt like a grand explorer, a frontier pioneer! Conquering territories I had never seen before. The world seemed to expand eternally at my feet, and possibilities were infinite.
I took my time going down, meandering the winding switchbacks and soaking in the beauty around me. I rolled down the window and turned off the radio. The crisp mountain air was received with a warm welcome on my cheeks.
After securing a campsite for the evening, I very excitedly explored, Yellowstone National Park.. On my trek, I stumbled upon tons of bison, elk, hot springs, and a few grizzly bears.. It was nice to see the eclectic collection of wildlife in the park, as at the time, their numbers (especially the bears) were in decline.
Back at the campsite, I made smores and shared a campfire with a young couple from.. somewhere. Steve and Dawn were surprisingly lovely compatriots. They were fascinated with my journey and asked me to regale them with more and more stories from my life. The laughter and vodka/Mountain Dew's flowed easily, much to the chagrin of their 10 year old son Zach, who had to remind us that he was sleeping in a tent ten feet away. We talked into the night under a universe of stars until the fire died down and the drinks ran low, at which point we bid each other Good Night, or was is Good Morning?
A couples of hours later, as I packed up, we exchanged information and they made me promised that if I ever wrote a book, I would incorporate them into it.. so.. there ya' go. :)
In my humble red Firebird, I sputtered down the the road towards Old Faithful. The reliable geyser was roped off at a respectable distance to avoid onlookers getting scalded by the boiling steam which bursts from the earth every 1 -2 hours of the day.
I arrived as a crowd was forming, but was lucky enough to get a front row view. There was a rather large bison who must not have read the signs, because he was having a grand old time rolling around in the mud right in front of the hot spring vent. I snapped a few pictures of the beautiful beast frolicking as I waited for the main even. I didn't have to wait very long as soon a rumbling sound followed by a hiss preceded the eruption that sent gallons of scorching water over a hundred feet in the air.
The spectacle startled our unsuspecting bovine friend from his mid-morning romp, which provoked him to charge the crowd.. luckily the excitement which turned to fear subsided with the the rush of the geyser as the bison pulled up short and veered off into the distance..
Taking a clue, I gathered my things and headed onward toward the Tetons..