Friday, June 24, 2016

Yellowstone (Part 2)

Two things: I am going to type a lot in this and the next blog entry and I'm going to backtrack a little bit because I feel like I missed some fun things from day one at Yellowstone. 

Once I set up my tent, I couldn't relax. I laid down in my tent, with the sun beating down on me, and I read all the pamphlets on bear safety and wildlife and looked at the maps to see where I would go the next day, but for some reason I felt like I needed to stay in the campsite (it was only 2pm), which made me restless. I kept going to my car to grab something like water or a book or a pillow or just anything. Back and forth - car, tent, car, tent.

Once I realized that I was fidgeting, I decided to go for a walk, which led me to the lake. While at Yellowstone Lake, I saw buck in the grass. It was amazing. He saw me and looked right at me but figured I wasn't a threat, so he went back to eating grass. His antlers were little and all fuzzy and he was just beautiful. 

Then I went a little bit further into nearby woods, and saw the biggest poop I'd ever seen. Figuring it was a bear, I turned around and went back to camp. That's when I took my nap in the sun, woke up and went to Mud Volcano where I met bison for the first time.

Everything went smoothly in the evening. I fell asleep rather early and woke up in the middle of the night, quite sore from the ground, which (surprisingly) is hard. I probably woke up 4 times and each time thought about bears. 

I borrowed the sleeping bag from Kate, who said I should get it washed before going camping. One of the times I woke up, I worried that the sleeping bag would smell like food and I would basically be a tasty burrito for some bear. What would I do if a bear thought I was a tasty snack? Basically nothing. There was no way I could convince him that I was not a tasty burrito, so I went back to sleep, resigned to my fate.

Another time during the night, I heard a man snoring several tents over and thought, "did a bear just make that noise in my ear? Was a bear just breathing and that's what it sounds like?" Again, there was nothing I could do, so I went back to sleep.

I should say that it got down to 30 degrees in the night but I was very warm except for my eyes and the top of my head when my hoodie came off. The burrito that I borrowed from Kate was very thick and very warm. When I woke up just after 5 a.m., I stepped outside the tent and shivered for five minutes. I couldn't believe how cold it was, which made me so thankful that I didn't freeze to death overnight.

The moon wished me a good morning
I wanted to wake up around 5 o'clock because I wanted to see the sunrise over the lake. I made my way down there and set up my iPhone to record a time-lapse of the sunrise. I got about 28 minutes of it but it was so cold that my toes went numb. As I was waiting for the sun to rise, I jogged up and down the beach, I did exercises that I recently learned in a Berkeley boot camp. I did anything and everything I could to stay warm. The sun rose (most of the way), I grabbed my phone and head back to camp where I packed up and was on the road by 6:20 a.m. hoping to beat the crowds at Old Faithful.

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