Date- August 2, 2019
Location- Old Faithful, Yellowstone
Distance Traveled Today- 15.9 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 858.6 miles
Weather/Temp- cloudless, 70s, 80s
Pain level- zero
Spirits/Morale- ready to relax
Wildlife encounters- moose
Days without shower- 0
Days without laundry- 9
I awoke to a gorgeously clear Wyoming day this morning… if not a little chilly. Hopefully a good omen for future Wyoming days to come, but I’m not holding my breath.
It was 16 miles of flat or downhill hiking into Old Faithful Village through an alternating amalgamation of burn zones and green forest. I hiked fast and only stopped once to get some water out of a leach filled lake. Normally I despise getting water from lakes or ponds, but it was the only game in town, and surprisingly it tasted like rainwater… or maybe it’s rain that tastes like lake water. Food/water for thought.
When Old Faithful Village was only a couple miles away around noon, I found myself amongst a minefield of beautiful small geysers, hot pools, and steaming vents. I also found myself in a minefield of eager, wild eyed tourists. You can smell them way before you see them. The smell of cleanliness, shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, perfume, aftershave, and a plethora of other unnatural smells that clash horribly with the wilderness. I think my eyes began to water, just like when I find myself within 2 rows of the “cleaning aisle” at Walmart or any other substantial store.
After braving the nasal assault for a couple miles, I had lunch with Strep, Trey, and Data at the Old Faithful Inn and settled in to wait for Laura. Oh, by the way, the friend who is coming to visit is Laura. She is the one I hiked with in Maine, and who dropped me off at the trail. She surprised me with news of her plan to fly out a couple weeks ago. We never had a specific meeting place, but she said she’d drive to wherever I was. So sweet of her!
The cheapest room at Old Faithful Inn on a Friday was $800 per night. Not happening. So we drove out of the park, but not before sitting in a Moose Jam for almost an hour. We didn’t even know it was a Moose Jam until we passed a mother and her calf bedded down on the side of the road. I thought it was just exit traffic for the park, but I should have known better.
We managed to find a room in Island Park, but we’re going to Idaho Falls tomorrow. I’m looking forward to rest, food, and maybe a movie!
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