Friday, September 10, 2010


I got caught in a traffic jam this morning... just a few miles inside the west gate of Yellowstone. It was rather unexpected. The Park Ranger mentioned something about road work. Still, the scenery was not hard to look at. Traffic moved at a crawl. I checked my watch. It was 9:30. Cars stretched ahead for as far as I could see, and in my mirror I could see another line snaking behind me. Finally, after almost a half hour, I came around a curve and right at the front of the line of traffic was a large brown animal in the road. Pretty soon, as the cars ahead of me cautiously passed him, I could make out what it was. It was a big-assed buffalo sauntering down the centre line of the road. As I inched past him, he rolled his head toward me and I'm glad he didn't take a sudden dislike for Toyota vans.
I guess that's the first time I've seen a buffalo in the wild. But I wasn't in Yellowstone to see bears or buffalos, or elk or pronghorns. I've seen wildlife before. But I've never seen geysers. I've never been in the caldera of a dormant but very much alive volcano before. And it's amazing. Look in any direction and you'll see puffs of steam rising up here and there, by the side of the road, or across a field. And someday the whole thing will blow up again. When it does the whole earth will shake. Millions will die. There is nothing we can do about it. When it goes it goes.
It was a cold day, so I didn't spend as much time there as I should have. I'll probably never be back, either. That rain that came down in Idaho was snow in the higher elevations of Yellowstone. But now I'm in Cody, and it may be windy but it's at least in sunshine.
Take no notice of the image second from the bottom. It really is NOT a carving of an ancient Persian warrior. This is how rumours start.

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