After leaving Jackson, WY, I went through Yellowstone up to Bozeman, Montana, planning on making it to Glacier National Park. But I must agree with Burns and say “the best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry.”
Yellowstone was phenomenal! I pulled into the Old Faithful Inn, parked right in front, walked up to the geyser and 10 minutes later was taking photos of the most beautiful spout of water, complete with rainbow, that I have ever seen. The whole landscape was other-worldly with the steam rising out of white ground like something you would see in an old black and white sci-fi movie about aliens on the moon.
The Old Faithful Lodge was incredible to experience as well and I walked through, up and down marveling at the construction and longing for the past when they had music playing at the top while patrons danced below. I certainly could get into that fantasy.
But I didn’t tarry long as I needed to keep driving to reach Bozeman before nightfall. Yellowstone is HUGE and at 35 mph a slow, lovely drive, with so many temptations to stop and walk and look. The change in landscape was dramatic, from hydrothermal moonscapes and bubbling mud pots, to huge evergreens, waterfalls and rolling green fields. Just incredible!
But the highlight of this day was the wildlife. I saw huge antlered elk, and gargantuan buffalo sauntering along the road close enough to hear their breath and the swish of grass as they lumbered by. I particularly loved the herd of elk that I saw with a few lying down with only their cute heads poking out of the grass.
But the best of the day was seeing my first grizzly bear. He was right across the road from my car walking along, stopping and digging big swaths of earth with his large paw. I was stunned and full of awe to see the massive power in his lumbering gate and swiping limbs and was grateful to be safely in my car with the ability to roll up my window and step on the gas to get away. Definitely would be a scary guy to come across alone on a hike. He didn’t give any of the cars stopped to watch him a glance, just stayed in his own wild world shunning our humanity with his dignity. It was as though he was not going to stoop so low as to give us the satisfaction of knowing we were worth noticing.
I was sorry to have to rush through the park, but I still had so far to go. I made it to Bozeman at around 10pm and woke up the next morning with NO idea where I was going next. I could not find lodging in Glacier last-minute, so I ignored the discomfort of the unknown and shopped downtown Bozeman for a birthday present, wrapped and sent it off to my daughter before facing the inevitable, what’s next? It is a great feeling to not worry and to know without a doubt the next steps will emerge when it’s time. I heard a James Taylor song on the radio that I’ve never heard before and crocodile tears of gratefulness rolled down my cheeks it was so apropos.
Now the thing about time is that time
Isn’t really real
It’s just your point of view
How does it feel for you
Einstein said he could never understand it all
Planets spinning through space
The smile upon your face
Welcome to the human race
Isn’t it a lovely ride
Try not to try too hard
It’s just a lovely ride
(Listen on youtube @ Secret of Life)