Dispatches from America’s Great Wonder-Land, Part 2

Click to read Part 1

Amy continued shooting frame after frame, seemingly unfazed by the presence of the most dangerous wild animal in North America. I felt a fierce rush of admiration for her courage.

Tower Falls field sketch;Thomas Moran;1871; YELL 8523;
The first drawing of Tower Falls, probably.

The grizzly bear — for there was no doubt this was a grizzly — continued its advance down the hill toward us. The bear was making quiet snuffling noises, and I combed my knowledge of the animal. Was snuffling a sign of irritation?

I thought of my deep affection for bears. Being eaten by one would not make me as posthumously mad as if I was eaten by, say, a great white shark.

As the grizzly moved closer, we noticed something extraordinary: three more bears. We were facing a female bear guarding her cubs. Darkness was closing in.

Saturday, May 14

It was the second morning of our slapdash vacation to Yellowstone National Park, and we roused ourselves with the energy and zip of a pair of experimental lobotomy patients. We were in room 307 of a (possibly haunted) Best Western hotel.

Continue reading “Dispatches from America’s Great Wonder-Land, Part 2”

Dispatches from America’s Great Wonder-Land, Part 1

We hurried down the path, going a bit too fast, rushing against the dying light. Our time was dwindling. Our quarry might be just over the next hill, or crossing a distant meadow, and so we kept moving.

We did not even know for sure what we were hunting, or whether we would find it.

Yellowstone Poster
Old posters are the best posters. Image by National Park Service [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Then we rounded a corner and felt a subconscious, animal tingle warning us that something was not quite right. A hazy figure to our left came into focus in stages, like looking at the face of a stranger for a few moments before discovering you have stumbled upon an old acquaintance. But once resolved, it was unmistakable.

Twenty feet ahead, with nothing but empty ground and clear air between us, was the most dangerous wild animal in North America.

Amy slowly raised the aperture to her eye, her finger hovering over the trigger. “Cool,” she whispered.

Thursday, May 12

Here’s a nugget of information about us: our modus operandi is long lead times with heavy emphasis on strategic planning. We would never buy, say, a refrigerator, without research, deliberation, and several (several!) trips to the home improvement store for in-person evaluation. One time, and this is a true story, we decided to rescue a cat from our local shelter as company for our current cat, and making that happen took us longer than the Summer Olympics. Continue reading “Dispatches from America’s Great Wonder-Land, Part 1”