Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Derek Hofeldt

6:00 am wake-up call. 

Frozen toes runny nose.  Hurry up and eat, clean, pile in the van.  No time to enjoy the cool breeze or admire the sunrise.  If you’re tired, too bad, no sleeping on the drive, no gazing out the window.  Read, write study, stay awake… or else!!!  Off to the class room we go… 

            We passed a lone bison in the road and I couldn’t help but wish we could switch spots.  Let the bison sit in the van, let me wander around aimlessly.  Lucky animals.  Right after seeing the lone bison I witnessed some kind of hawk soaring above the trees.  God, how I envy him.  Living up on top of any peak he chooses, king of all he sees and all he flies above.  No leash, no schedule.  He knows only solitude, the king of the most beautiful place that I have never seen.  Whooh, bummer, back to reality.  In the van, heading to class.

            Believe it or not, class was a nice change of pace.  I guess I can tolerate the classroom if it only happens once or twice a semester.  Libby with her Yellowstone Wolf Project, and Mike the author of “Yellowstone and Snowmobiles” were both very interesting and informative.  After Ranger Nick talked to us about the challenges of visitor and animal management we got to walk around Mammoth Hot Springs, which was much needed and very, very relaxing.

            From the hot springs we went straight to the Fishing Bridge Restaurant to fill our bellies with some hometown food.  We then went back to camp and finished debriefing the day before dark, which is pretty rare for us, and then got to have our first camp fire were Josh entertained us with his excellent guitar playing and sing-a-longs.  Every ones favorite song seemed to be “Don’t Feed The Bears” which is a Josh Standard original!

            A hectic morning followed by a great day and an even better night!