Here I am sitting in Butte, Montana waiting for the firework display to begin, I believe fire in the hole is at 10:15 at “the big m”. The location isn’t bad as most are gathering in this park listening to live music and finding a spot on the grass. I will say its bit strange to have smaller fireworks being lit all around us but I guess when there legal that’s the way they role, just to note my two hotdogs were terrible but the skewer chicken was good. So as I wait for the bombs to go up I figure I’d take the time to write even though it may be rude to my company, what company!
I drove into YS after leaving the Teton’s which really left its mark and didn’t know what to expect from the national park I hear so much about. I can say after spending about 2 ½ days within the park it certainly lives up to its expectation. The best way I can describe it is driving through a post card. It’s a huge park and may be one of the biggest national parks filled with rolling plains, Forrest and beautiful flowing rivers and lakes. Okay a bit odd this guy just came around selling jello shots? Really I mean they were RWB but I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable buying liquor from that guy especially with his sketchy approach. Back to YS my plan was to get in early and get a site but as I entered the park I saw nothing but full signs unless you opt for Lewis lake at the very edge or go 80 miles north to Indian or Slough Creek. Lucky for me I passed on Lewis lake since the camp host himself looked disappointed with his surroundings but I was lucky enough to grab a spot at Grant. I must say that campsite is one of the better sites I have stayed at so far, clean, great location, and enough amenities where it wasn’t overwhelming like a Canyon ehh place was a circus. At the back edge of the campgrounds was a beautiful lake that was rather cold but still a sight for these eyes. YS has this peace and tranquility about it, I’ve traveled a good part of the country and haven’t come across anything quite like it. It makes me think of the Kevin Costner movie Dances with the Wolves, I mean you come over this hill and you see a huge plain as far as your eyes I can see and then a herd of Bison grazing as they did in the million’s years ago. Both day’s I decided to stop for lunch along the road, pulled out my chair grabbed a cherry Pepsi and ate to the backdrop of YS national park. I mean usually for lunch I’m staring at the parking lot in Ossining so obviously this spot had it beat hands down.
The wildlife is a huge part of the attraction of YS. I myself saw several Bison, Mule Deer, a Moose, Bald Eagle, two small coyote’s, Big Horn’s, Several Birds but no bear’s which was probably a good thing. The wildlife often cause traffic jams as many of the tourists stop to catch a glimpse but it helps to have binoculars (which I do). One thing about YS is it had a good mix of land and water. YS lake is huge and feeding into that is several creeks, lakes and brooks along the way. Oh boy the annoying teenagers are back sitting in front of me, who dresses these kids they look like they are in a circus. Since I’m on the subject one of the things that annoyed me about the park was the overly aggressive “photographers” apparently most of them are pushing to get into National Geographic. Let’s put it this way these people travel hundreds of miles to see the landscape and the wildlife that call it home but 50 yards apparently isn’t good enough. I think if the park offered rides, there a line of 20 strong in seconds. It actually didn’t get to me until a herd of Bison were grazing in the field and I noticed one spectator after another got out and couldn’t stay at the roads edge but instead had to walk through the grass trampling wild flowers. At one point a younger man ran into the field with his tripod a good 50 yards to capture a shot maybe he should have realized he was rocking a huge lens. I just feel it’s a lack of respect for the other spectator’s and more importantly the park itself, I almost wanted to say “Do you like trampling flowers?”
Since that rant is now over I will get on to my wonderful hike up Mt. Washington. I should say this wasn’t my original trail but after speaking to the ranger I decided to change trails, the conversation went something like this “Are you hiking alone?” Yes, “Do you have bear spray” Pepper Spray “Well that’s diluted I have over 120 jumps and I wouldn’t go in alone” and lastly “A guy your age came in last year said he would be fine, pause…… but he was killed by a grizzly”!! so after the motivational pep talk I decided on the less intense trail. Mt. Washington is 10,235 feet and is a 1,400 feet elevation increase from the base of the trail (I’ll have to double check the stats). The trail wasn’t bad and was rather open basically going up in a zig zag up the mountain to a observation house that seemed un obtainable when I caught my first glimpse of it. I actually made better time than expected and failed to stay close to any other hikers so YOOO BEAR. I figured as long as I got to the top I could trail someone on the way back. The hike had great views with a mix of the valley’s below, the canyon’s and even came across some snow. I did my best to prolong my battery of my phone for better shots at the top as I would have been so disappointed to get up and have no battery left. Note switching to airplane mode definitely helps! I feel like I’m rambling with this blog, Anyways I have taken a real like to hiking it’s a great form of exercise and it allows you to push yourself to achieve bigger goals all while simplifying life. I was really anxious to reach the top and the 3 mile hike was well worth it as just before I reached the peak I came up on 3 Big Horn’s grazing in the grass. The view from the top was one of the best of my life, you stand there have a 360 view of the skyline and it was really awesome. I was able to snap a lot of pictures and some videos which I will be happy to look back on. Being that high overlooking all that land topping other peaks you realize why people go to the extent to climbing huge mountain ranges in the world. I’m debating whether or not to go in this direction or not but as I was signing the log as all the people who reach the top do ehhhh perhaps another time.
The sun is almost done and my blog is almost over. YS has an a great appeal to it and has an element of surprise as you never know what is around the next corner. I remember on my second night I was looking for a place to crash and the roads get very quiet as the sun goes down but I came across a hill and again a huge heard of grazing bison. As the sun had set and to see a hundred of these enormous animals so peaceful with their calves following shortly behind it was great way to end the day. I was happy with the time I spend in YS and left knowing that I saw as much as I could see. I currently just hit Washington and will write later about GLACIER NATIONAL!!
And yes I did see Old Faithful bit of a teaseeeee...