Nearly three years ago, my mother and I ventured on a cross country trek in my brother’s Jeep across Canada. We drove west from southwestern Ontario to Vancouver, BC over the course of two weeks, and then down to northern California to meet up with the men in our family. The following are taken from emails I wrote to family and friends.
Day 24: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Left Utah today, blew through Idaho, and entered Wyoming. I quite enjoyed Wyoming, and this is why: Yellowstone. I’m sure there is more to the state than the first established national park in the world (1872), but we are trying to make serious time, so one stop was all the time we had.
After having stopped in the Teton National Park for a picnic lunch, we drove on in to Yellowstone. As luck would have it, Old Faithful was erupting while we pulled in to the parking lot. We decided to stay and hang out until the next estimated time for when it would go off… actually we were going to leave, but I made a friend from California who was on a two year motorbike trip around the world (more or less, no Asia). Pretty interesting guy. Old Faithful was 30 seconds of fun.
We left and while trying to goose it out of the park, got caught up in a bison jam. Well, first there was one dude (by dude I mean a big, bulging bison) walking at a reasonable pace alongside the road, then, next thing we know, we are in a jam – vehicular and animal: maybe 30 buffalo walking on, and on either side of the road, were holding up traffic. We were stuck for about 20 minutes. The solo buffalo made a loud guttural moo/call right outside my window, which prompted me of course to take pics, and then continued at an impressive pace, on to the rest of the herd. So fast. Buffalo really fascinate me. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to being five feet away from them, but besides being so massive, there is something dainty and gentle about them. Their appearance reminds me of some of the characters from Where the Wild Things Are.
Today we have seen a gazillion bison, llamas, mule and white tail deer… and lots of crows. I had a moment with a crow earlier when I was waiting for Old Faithful to do its thing. I was alone on a bench and a crow flew from the area around the geyser directly towards my face, then turned at the last second and stood on the bench next to me. We eyed each other dubiously. He then hopped around me to my other side, pecked at the ground, and hopped away. I wonder if this exchange has any meaning.
Made it just west of Cody, WY. Our days have started earlier, and finish well after sunset. This continent of ours is grandiose.
Interesting mention, something I did not know until today, besides Yellowstone containing more geothermal features than any other place on earth, is the caldera. The caldera (a volcano that has collapsed inwards, creating a cauldron like feature) measures about 55 km by 72 km, encircling the NW corner of Wyoming. I had been told by Ed (motorcycling friend) and my dad that they read that the Yellowstone Supervolcano is predicted to erupt. It seems to have gone off approximately every 640,000 years, and is due. Last time it ejected 240 cubic miles/ 1000 km3 of delicious lava. Deadly. Wikipedia has quoted some scientist saying that it is unlikely it will go off… but then he says, these things are unpredictable. Soooo, it was nice knowing you?
Kilometres achieved: 797