Well, today was a long ride in the car but it didn’t go without it’s share of excitement. We started early in the morning but as soon as we got outside of Jackson we were stuck in a traffic jam. A herd of buffalo had decided to cross the road and take their time I might add so no traffic could get through. Of course most of the people in the traffic were tourists so they all had their camera’s out and were parked along the side of the road watching the buffalo. Steve said we couldn’t stop as there was no room on the side of the road so he tried to take a picture while driving very slowly by the beasts. However, he says the picture is quite blurry. He tried to fix it with iPhoto but it still isn’t too good. From his description it’s a little like how I see at the best of times (lighting effects my eyes) but those times were quite awhile ago. I could smell them and I’ll tell you that they smell different from a cow. They smell mean but lazy. Anyway, I’m putting the picture in as it’s the best we have of the buffalo. There is more tale to tell of buffalo on this ride but that will come later.
As soon as we got into the Grand Teton’s National park we came across this field where a group of people had pulled over and were taking pictures. Steve pulled over and low and behold it was a grizzly bear wandering in the field. Steve got out and took some pictures with his good camera (not the iPhone) then enhanced it so you can see it better. He says if you blow it up a bit on your screen you will see it better. The bear was at first moving slowly but he started picking up the pace a bit and was moving away from where we were at. I can tell you I could smell the bear and I don’t like bears anymore then I like stairs! And, you all know how I hate stairs.
Well, back to buffalo. We drove through The Grand Tetons, Then Yellowstone with an accidental side trip to Ole Faithful again (added an hour more to our drive) then drove around Yellowstone Lake and out the east entrance to the park. It is really huge we drove for at least an hour or more around the lake. I wanted to go swimming but master said it was too cold. I told him I don’t mind cold water but we didn’t stop.
As we drove around the lake we came by several Bison (master says the proper name is Bison so I’ll switch for now) laying by the side of the road near the water. We drove slowly and didn’t disturb them. There wasn’t any place to pull over on the road so we couldn’t get any pictures and master had to keep his eyes on the road. The road was in good condition (mostly) but very curvy and a narrow two lane road.
Well from Yellowstone we drove into the Shoshone National Forest going up through mountain passes as high as 8300 ft in elevation (we went higher later but I digress). This is where some real excitement happened. We were driving along and master saw some people on the left side of the road out of the cars so he was slowing and watching them. What he didn’t see was this huge Bison in the shallow on the right side of the road on the opposite side of a guard rail until it decided to jump over the guard rail into the lane of traffic we were driving on.
Steve thought quickly swerved and braked slightly in just enough time to keep from being bowled over by this battering ram. I was sleeping at first but I woke fast. The beast was flying up and through the air with his feet bent in front of him with his massive head and horns heading straight for us. Of course, we couldn’t get a picture but I think the people on the side of the road got some and also moved quickly as he was like a freight train charging into the road. Steve says in retrospect he was quite magnificent but he was too startled at the time to appreciate it. He said it looked like the Buffalo on the Buffalo Head Nickel come to life but 12 feet tall.
After we left the Shoshone Forest we drove through the sparse and bad lands of Wyoming – forever it seemed, until we came to the “Big H0rn” Mountains. Wow, they are big and weird with all sorts of shapes to them. We drove all the way up to 9640 ft in elevation before dropping down to the present 5000 in Buffalo Wyoming.
It was quite a hairy ride as the road curved up and down and around the sides of the mountains even at times going through the mountains. I liked those tunnels. That’s what Steve calls them, but I thought of them as big dens warm, but not very cozy. We went through Buffalo Bill’s Park and through strange passes with jagged peaks, piled rocks and sheer cliffs in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Until, finally we got to Buffalo.
PS the last two phonos are of Aspen in fall foliage and a small sample of the rock sculptures in Big Horn.