Sunday, September 29, 2013

Elephant Back

It was one of those mornings I couldn't pass up. Snow on the ground, the husband off of work, and a babysitter. It was a morning for a hike. No more than a quarter mile from the dorms is Elephant Back Trail that overlooks Yellowstone Lake.
We were the first people on the trail. We were definitely worried about grizzlies since there is one particularly big one that is hanging out around Lake Hotel. We fortunately came prepared with bear spray, hiked in a group, and when we were winded (I'm still adjusting to the altitude) we made plenty of noise. The snow almost felt magical, especially since it's only September. The hike climbed 800 feet, and once we made it up to the top, the snow was deeper. The trees were covered with a blanket of snow, and it is a hike I'll likely never forget.
The best part of the whole hike (3.6 miles total) was the point in which we first saw the view. On a switchback the trees open up and the silvery sky, lake, and trees appear. The white is snow, the sun glistens when it hits the slivery landscape like a shiny nickel. As we climb higher, the trail flattens and trees surround us. The sky is blue through the canopy. It's beautiful... but it's not winter. Or so I thought.
It was a good morning. A wonderful hike in the snow. I only wish we would have some sunshine. I miss the sun. I haven't seen it in a couple of days.

The next day we took a drive to Gardiner, Montana. We drove to the nearest grocery store, and for being really rural it was a nice store. We planned for the next weeks dinners and we turned around through Teddy Roosevelt's Arch and headed back to the lake. We stopped at Norris Geyser Basin and took a short hike through the geysers and springs. It's amazing how beautiful hot water and thermal areas can be. Beautiful blue crystal bubbling water is incredibly smelly though as well. The earth is obviously a living, breathing thing, and when in Yellowstone- it's a clear fact.

Not all about this traveling scenario is ideal. I'm easily entertained, but this weather is not ideal. I need some sunshine... Will you all in the South send me some please??

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