Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wyoming, Yellowstone

Yellowstone Natl Park
I have longed to see Yellowstone National Park since I can remember ever knowing about it. It's thrilling to think of walking atop a live volcano. Steam whistles out of small fissures as if a tea pot were forgotten on the burner. Deep blue pools beckon the observer to wade forward and swim as if in the Caribbean. This surface beauty gives only glimpses of the raw power lying just beneath its thin crust.

We rode a few of the bike trails. It was a great way to see some of the park away from the crowds. Still no grizzly sightings, but the bison were in abundance. They owned the park, meandering down the highway as they pleased, glancing at the cars with a look that says, "hey haven't you seen a bison before?" We could have reached out the window and touched them as they walked around our car. Mt. Washburn
Our last ride in Yellowstone was up Mount Washburn, well almost up to the summit. We started at the base of Chittenden road. It was a steady climb, we were moving slow, but steady. The higher we got the more snow we were running into, but the view was gorgeous. Then we came to the fateful snow patch. Evidently I didn't get all the mud out of my clip when we carried the bikes through the last snow patch, or at least this is my excuse. When I hit the new patch of ice I didn't unclip in time. Instead I planted my bike handle bars directly onto the trail and tried to impale my chest on the other end. With the combination of high elevation, climbing, and then this blunt force impact I couldn't catch my breath. After getting up out of the ice cold mud puddle I was quite dizzy, and the pain was excruciating. We failed to make the top. I was extremely disappointed. Someday we will go back and finish it.
The staff at the hospital in Montana was very nice and thankfully the X-rays showed no broken ribs. The impact hit the cartilage between my ribs and sternum. Within a few days I had a nice large purple lump and a number of wonderful memories of Yellowstone.

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