u.s. road trip…days 11-12

so one of the first painful realizations of our trip – we actually forgot to charge the camera before getting to yellowstone.  so i guess that it could have been worse, but that was a pretty big bummer.  and darren and margherita gave chris a freeloader for just such an occasion on his last birthday, but sadly we’d left it in france.  so while the experience was incredible, the pic’s are minimal.

we had no idea how big the park was, but we knew that we wanted to find a new campsite, and get at least one hike in by the end of the day, so we made our way to one of two more sites that were still open for the season.  along the way we saw a massive group of people staring out into the distance, complete with telescopes and binoculars…we wanted to stop, but the campsites had been filling up, so we decided to continue along.  later we found out that what we’d missed was a bear fighting with a pack of wolves over the carcass of a bison…discovery channel stuff!  bummer, but as we got the 2nd-to-last site, and as we’d have never made it to another campsite in time, not a lot of choice.  we did manage to squeeze in a 4-mile (should have been 5, but i got tired!) hike, whereupon chris laid eyes on his ‘first real cowboys!’  when we got back, i also had a first – i got a warning from a ranger!  i had no idea that bottled water was part of the long list of what campers have to stow away to keep bears away, but i had left a big bottle out to make sun tea, and the volunteer was none-too-happy with yours truly!

next day felt a bit warmer in the morning…still, breakfast was a continually difficult endeavor as we were functioning on less sleep than normal, our fingers ached from the cold, and even with all the layers we could add, the weather just put us in a cranky mood, at least until later in the day, as the sun and the temperature rose, bringing our spirits along for the ride.  we did a couple more hikes on the 2nd day – one in particular that seriously challenged my heights issues (and thank goodness for chris, or else i might still be up there plastered to the side of the side of the mountain, refusing to budge!).  we checked out old faithful, which really was cool, and then started to make our way south.  the idea was to camp out in the southern-most campsite at yellowstone, or better still, somewhere in grand teton, just south of yellowstone.  but then it started raining.  and seriously – i mean raining.  we got to the first campsite and the volunteer said he would recommend staying put, as the weather wouldn’t get better, and putting up the tent would be the hard part.  chris wanted to keep going, and i wasn’t opposed, but as we made our way, it literally started SNOWING.  and raining.  AT THE SAME TIME.  now, i’m rugged.  i’m hardcore.  and i’m smart enough to know when we’re severely under-prepared for weather.  so we decided to make our way to a motel…couldn’t be more than $40-50, right?  WRONG!  the third one we tried was $70/night…the draw to the tiny town in which we stopped?  hunting.

anyway, it was good to have a shower in time to see my grandma the next day.

TOTAL MILES:  2928

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