Thursday, June 24, 2010
It is all about the ride, or is it?
The major advantage in doing the park, from a motel or campsite on a motorcycle is parking everywhere - you could put three or four bikes where one caged vehicle would go, and then there is the ride - puts a big smile on my face - even when my nephew told his Dad about the loose gravel on the merge ramp and I slid across it so well - demonstrating several laws one shouldn't be breaking - none of which were passed in Congress. Just hold on until the tire grips and then roll on the throttle and straighten up and fly right.
Don't forget to flash your ID when using the Senior Pass the Park Service sold you, or you will have to be informed of your lapse by the uniformed employee, sigh. Not my fault they didn't put a picture on it with my birthdate. She did allow me in, do you think she just wanted to talk to me? Nah, it was the bike she was looking at.
My brother and his son were using radio to talk the entire time, one took lead and one trail and they wondered what I was thinking and stopped to check when I forgot to turn off my turn signal, or wiggled the Trusty Triumph in happiness. There is a lot of happiness in the quick tour that we did. For someone from Western Washington the trees aren't big enough, there are plenty of them, growing, but not BIG ones - they did have a major forest fire, lots of downed dead wood, lots of standing dead wood, but life is growing up all around. Wish I looked as magnificent as those big bull bison, posing for tourists and chewing cud. Eat your heart out Universal Studios, you got nothing on the wild in the West. It was discussed that spoiled products of entertainment industry theme parks would think that the geyers and bubbling mud pools and steam vents and hot springs were all faked and just not up to video game and movie magnificence. Doesn't Old Faithful know it is ten minutes late? Is that all the geyser is about - and then it does blow up and out and you are so late with the camera and missing the big show while trying to get it on the little Canon.
I did wonder, since my parents did a lot of National Parks with us as children, how we missed Yellowstone, just the Canyon with the falls and the raging Yellowstone River, the deeply cut canyon with the views you can listen to as you watch the power passing, falling and cutting deeper daily. I am sure there were pretty women everywhere I went, but I am getting so old I never noticed, always looking for the next big antlered elk (how do they hold their heads up with that rack?) and the herd of bison, the wallowing bulls and the free flying eagles were almost everywhere - which means lots of stuff I didn't get to see in the woods, on the hills and behind those rocks.
I had a farm grown bison burger, a BIG burger for lunch, my brother power napped in the empty lounge and my nephew wrote a post card - as I thought about telling y'all about the flashing bison crossing sign, and the warning about the wild animals (which I thought were snide remarks about ill bred tourists leaving trash). In the end there isn't really anything I can share except that you should have been here - the weather was wonderful - from the foggy morning at the bubbling clear water pools looking for sign of animals if they weren't present. They even have a book for us about what animals poo'd like which. I saw the elk prints all over the paint pot areas - and piles of their passing. To the clear blue skies and high enough mountain passes with signs of crossing the Continental Divide - did it several times on one stretch of road. Short stretch of road is under construction, thirty minute delay for one way traffic, and there is lots of traffic, bring your own porta-potty, or wait for major lodge areas with tourists in mind. The population pressure is amazing in the Summer I understand, but only when stopped did it seem like a lot of people caught up to us.
The Old Faithful Inn is a man made cool wonder, hand worn wood railings warm me - I believe that rifles that have wooden stocks have soul, so you can imagine that I was really pleased with this rustic palace. I do know we walked a lot for being bad bikers, that the posted speed limit is forty-five but the roads and bikes can easily do more if those other folks weren't almost always slowing down to look at the animals and the fishermen. One doesn't have hunting, but the fishermen are in almost Heaven for swift moving waters, holding that trout that just can't resist a well cast fly. Just sleep in the camper on your truck, going from turn out to turn out through the park at different fishing spots. There are so many good looking ones.
After about eight hours we were worn out, planned the ride and the exit for the next day, and returned to the motel for refreshing and renewal. Isn't a vacation supposed to be restful? Why do we want to do so much more? Bear Tooth in the morrow - someone said one shouldn't miss the opportunity, as I told my nephew when he asked if we should stop and look at something - we may only be here once take advantage of it.