"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gravel Road

I don't know what happened. Well, yes I do. Nothing! Just a mere scattering of flakes. No accumulating snow, no wind, no drifts. That darn Weather Channel and how they lead me on. I did wake up early (5:00 am) and decided to head to Bozeman on Sunday morning. I'm on the road by 6:00 (ahead of what I thought was snow) anticipating some serious grocery shopping. The snow levels are much deeper in Bozeman from what appeared to be a recent snow. I come from the Land of Sand and Salt. In the 70's and 80's most people's vehicles in Minnesota were merely buckets of rust on wheels going down the road from the salt used during the winter. In Montana they use sand which almost appears to be more gravel like. I decided this when cars would pass me and I would watch projectile missiles being thrown up from their tires and repeatedly smack into my window. Most of my drive into Bozeman consisted of me muttering "No! No! No!" as pieces of rock scratched my paint and probably pitted my windshield. But then again, it is way better than sliding out-of-control down the mountain and smashing through the median. Yes, a pitted windshield is much better than a totalled vehicle.
I've been wading through my e-mails recently. I know I have missed sending out some greetings such as to Mike in Centerville, Utah. Buried between numerous unsolicited advertisements from EHarmony and Laser Hair Removal I occasionly stumble across a few that I've overlooked. And if I had paid more attention to my Junk box I would of discovered that I would have been a zillionaire if only I had sent some money to a bank in Nigeria.
The elk have been visiting the metropolis of Mammoth lately. I found one staring at me from behind when I turned around at the garbage bin at the Yak this morning. I had no idea that it was there until our eyes locked and then it put her head down and continued to graze. Coming back from Gardiner one evening I had to stop as I noticed something on the edge of the road ahead of me. It was a young bull standing there who eventually crossed the road. With all the twists and turns on that road it would be very easy to come around a corner and plow right into something.
This weekend I didn't even make it into Lamar. Yesterday, after going to Emigrant to wash road debris off my vehicle, I made a half-hearted attempt to go. In all honestly, I was too tired. I made it just past the Yellowstone picnic area where I watched a couple bison swishing their heads around and grazing then decided to turn around and head back. I came across one coyote by the Blacktail Plateau Drive and the bull elks by Lava Creek. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching season 5 of The Office. Sometimes a relaxing day in Yellowstone is great, too.