Sunday, June 9, 2013

Yellowstone, Day 2

After surviving our eventful night in a 19ft box on wheels, we were on the road to Yellowstone. Along the way we stopped at a town called Cody, Wyoming to get gas and take a photo with their town mascot, a Grizzly Bear. That is the only grizzly I want to see on this trip.

As we got closer to Yellowstone, I was trying to focus on our audio book – it was just getting good –when Mr. B turned it off. Said he couldn’t concentrate on the book and take in all the scenery at once. When the park sign came to view, I sighed with relief and Scott grinned with excitement.

Made it.

I am not sure I have ever seen him so happy. His level of excitement was comparable to a 5 year old receiving a lifetime supply of freeze-pops. At one point he said, “Look a waterfall!” I turned and said, “Um, that’s like a trickle of water rolling down the side of a rock.” He said, “But isn’t it pretty?”
He had been talking this place up for months and I think he was just trying to get some kind of excitement out of me. Although I wasn’t excited about the said “waterfall”, I was excited for other reasons. The drive was finally nearing an end and I could reach out my passenger side window and touch a buffalo if I wanted. That was cool.
We entered the park at the East Entrance, but our campground was on the West side, so we had another hour in the car before we could officially say, “We’re Here!” We stopped at a waterfront pull-off, called Sedge Bay, to eat lunch.
I perused the newsletter we were given at the entrance and turned to Scott, “So you bought a bear bell to attach to our backpacks when we hike, but did you buy bear spray?” Every single page I turn suggested you hike with a minimum of three people and carry oodles of bear spray. He said, “Well, I didn’t think it was worth the $50.” Oh great, so if I get attacked by a grizzly while I am here, please remember, our protection wasn’t worth $50. Hopefully, I can outrun my husband.
We finally pulled up to our home for the next 5 days – Madison Campground. Although it’s not the most private site we’ve ever stayed, it’s surrounded by trees and offers six pieces of campfire wood for $8.99. Dude, it’s going to cost a lot to roast my marshmallows this week.
After getting set up, we decided we were not going to pay the fee for wood, so we headed to Montana, AKA “West Yellowstone” to find some at a more reasonable cost. I may not get excited over a trickle of water, but I sure get excited about (new) state signs.

We drove around aimlessly unable to find ANYONE selling wood. So we stopped at a snow mobile shop to ask the locals if they could help us out. They told us, “Yeah, a guy named Mark, he lives down the street.” As they start giving us directions to this man’s house, Mark happened to drive past in his beat up truck pulling a boat. “That’s him, just go ahead and follow him.”
He pulled into an ATM, but we didn’t want to walk up and introduce ourselves there. I mean, he might think we are trying to steal his money, so we drove around the block and by the time we circled back around, he was gone. We had lost the only man in town willing to sell us wood at a decent price.  Great.
Turns out we went to the next block and spotted him filling up his tank. I jumped out of the truck and introduced myself like a crazy woman, “Hi, the men at the snow mobile shop told me you would be willing to sell us a truck load of wood. Is that true?” He looked at me and said, “Um, yeah sure, let me finish getting gas and ill head back to my house.”
We followed him a few blocks to his house, assuming he would have a stack of fire wood lined row by row. Well he didn’t. Instead, he had about 75 tree logs waiting to be cut. Next thing you know, he was firing up his chainsaw, holding the log with his foot and creating small logs to load in our truck. Did I mention he was wearing flip flops and cut off jean shorts? All I kept imagining was this man is going to saw off his right foot, at the cost of two strangers not willing to pay the price of fire wood in a tourist location.
We tossed him $25.00 and left with a truck load of wood.

It sounds nice, but what was even better was watching Mr. B try to ax it into smaller pieces when we got back to the campsite. It was like watching one man saw a sequoia in the middle of the forest. He blames it on the wood – said it was knotty and shitty.
Moral of the story: We should have paid the $8.99 for a small box of wood to save Mr. B the sore back. I personally enjoyed the entertainment, so to me, it was worth the trouble.  
After the wood entertainment, we took a stroll to the heard of buffalo in our campground. There were mamas, dadas and babies crossing the water and watching all of us crazy tourists with evil eyes. Mr. B captured some awesome video footage, while I ran from a buffalo walking casual towards me. They always say, never run, but else do you do when a 2000lb animal is coming right for you? You RUN!
Night all.

@Jordan Dillen, I spy something brown
The buffalo that tried to trample me
Our home for the next 5 nights.

PS. I forgot the bag of potatoes at home and they were part of almost every meal we planned. Fail.

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