Yellowstone at 22

Nothing too exciting to report this weekend as I remained indoors writing for most of it. The weather did warm up today to a tropical 38F and I went for a three mile run and didn't freeze. I had to extend my course by a 1/2 mile to avoid some bison. As I just wrote to my friend Laurel, I'm not sure a co-existence with all these big mammals is the ideal environment for my extremely distracted mind. I like just wandering around in the wilderness without a care in the world, which is probably not the best strategy here.

I did find my journal entries from my first visit to Yellowstone seventeen years ago. After graduating from college, I hopped in my 82 turbo mustang and followed the "go west" instinct, driving from Boston to California. Age twenty-two seems a lifetime away now that I'm approaching forty. How wonderfully circular and mysterious life can be--never did I imagine when I passed through Gardiner and Mammoth that one day I'd be living there!

"September 20, 1991, Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone is beautiful. No description I could give would do it justice; I'm no John Muir. It is enchanting-the mountains and valleys are full of natural wonders. Truly a Disneyland for naturalists. Geological formations, fossil remains, and wildlife are everywhere. Right now I'm watching a herd of elk across from my campsite. The bull sings to his herd an eerie song, yet a sound suited to the land.

I was going to hike up to Sepulcher Mountain, but ended up taking a less strenuous trail. I just have no energy at all. Probably due to a hangover from last night at the Blue Goose in Gardiner, MT. I hiked around the Mammoth Hot Springs area on the Clagett Butte Trail. The landscape was right out of the movie The Wilderness Family (I still love that movie. I want to marry the Wilderness family dad). At one point the trail emerges on the top of a hill and the view of the surrounding basin is spectacular. On the last part of the trail, all sorts of surprises appear. I can imagine the first explorers' amazement when they reached this area."

Interesting to note that I had no fear of hiking alone in grizzly country back then--probably because I had no idea of the danger. Ah, ignorance is truly bliss!

I'll end with a quote I had in my old journal, my favorite Ed Abbey saying:

"Life is a dog and then you die. No, no, life is a joyous dance through daffodils beneath cerulean blue skies. And then? I forget what happens next."