For your video pleasure ... an overview of my new burning obsession.
We get a slow start, rolling back into the park. We stop at the Eagle Chevron station near the hotel. There's no credit card machine at the pump, so I go in (ugh ... modern day inconveniences!) Jim says these pumps are thirty years old. I can't even put a dollar amount on the pump because they don't stop automatically. I tell Jim I'll leave him my credit card if he'll just open the pump up. He says he just got out of the state pen and I should take it with me.
I think he calls me baby doll. I like Montana.
When we get into the park, our first stop is a bison sighting. We stop and watch from the side of the road, though about a dozen people climb down the embankment to get closer. These animals spook easily and run at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. Sadly, there's no cure for stupid. I wait for a while thinking maybe somebody will get gored, and then I'll get the better pics. But this is a patient bison, so we move on.
We stop at the first big string of geysers. It smells like rotten eggs. We see a little kid trying to reach down to touch the water. And older woman says "NO" to him, then apologizes to the parents for correcting their son. It used to take a village, but now the village is full of idiots.
And the idiots are breeding.
Then it's on to Old Faithful, where we have to wait only about a half hour for lift off. Flat Stanley can hardly sit still. There's another geyser -- the beehive -- that goes off just before. It's quite a display, but only goes off once a day. When the main event blows, Mom says it's kind of anti-climactic. She's seen it before and swears it was bigger last time. Everything looks bigger when you're a kid.
It's way later than we planned when we head out, and it's a long haul out of the park.
On the way, there's just one thing I have to add. You can't possibly grasp the long lasting devastation brought on by forest fires. Every time I see people smoking in the park I want to punch them. I've never hit anyone in my life. Near Lake Yellowstone, we drive for miles with one sight on either side of the car.
Mountains that look as if they are covered with sticks. Trees stripped of their glory, the bark still bearing the black blisters of fires that ravaged their needles -- and life -- away. It's just acre after acre of lifeless desolate forest.