Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 44- Katy Hunt

My goodness, my goodness, what a wonderful day! Well, at least it was after 8am! Our professional chef Brittany crept quietly out of her sleeping bag this morning to get a head-start on breakfast for the group only to find both of her boots missing! Thankfully, the sly fox Brandon and I had witnessed sneaking around the campsite the night before kept his trickery kept his trickery light for her. I on the other hand had to search far and wide for my left boot, while my right stayed untouched near my tent.

Breakfast was coming along with eggs scrambling and bacon sizzling as our LOD, Nicki, noticed the sky showed signs of rain. As we gathered for chow, the drops started to fall! Luckily, it was barely enough to get our gills wet and actually produced a beautiful rainbow after the rained cleared.

After our bellies were filled, we loaded up the vans to head off to Canyon Village’s Mt. Washburn, a 36 mile drive away. For some the drive flew while others window gazed at all the beauty Yellowstone has to offer. Justin spotted a black bear strolling solo down in a meadow from the road, turning everyone a little green by his sharp spy. Little did we know that Justin’s sneak peak was just the start of our wildlife adventure for the day.

We started our way up Mt. Washburn on the neatly arranged trail that was once a road. Climbing and laughing our way to the top, we all took the opportunity to gaze out at the beautiful scenery of millions of trees below us. Monica further explained our curiosity of the trees below us with a lesson on White Pines and their purpose for the surrounding wildlife. A little further up the trail laid some coyote scat and I had to investigate, (scats and tracks being my Outdoor Ed. Topic and all). As I picked out a small mammal claw from the scat to pass it around, Corey gasped and pointed down the trail. The moment we’d all been waiting for: a grizzly bear! This big bear was right down the trail from us, giving us a safe but good view too. Tony clarified that this bear was indeed a grizzly due to its humped back and “teddy bear” like ears. Although he looked cuddly, we respected his space and headed up the trail another half mile just to see another bear! This time, it was a black bear nibbling on some pinecones. I’m sure Brandon got a big shock upon walking out into the woods to pee and find a black bear having a light lunch!

We continued on with our hike and kept on for another hour before reaching the top of the mountain. Everyone rejoiced in our accomplishment of 10,243 feet in elevation. Plus, Jen finally get to see her Pica at the top of the mountain making it a win-win for her! After taking lots of silly pictures next to the sign, we headed back down the mountain for a quick lunch.

Since our hike lasted longer than expected, we headed over to Canyon Visitor Center to learn more about the volcanoes and lava flowing beneath our feet. Time was moving faster than we would have liked as Nicki decided two quick views of Uncle Tom’s Point and Artist Point would have to suffice. The Upper Falls drew out cameras and wide eyes to take in its natural beauty. However, its amazement could not be compared to Jeff’s surprise model shots laying in the pinup position in front of the falls! Both were once in a lifetime shots!

Pilling into the vans, we arrived at camp where Brittany prepared chicken noodle soup with dumplings and salad. The nights are getting cold here making the warm soup fill our bodies with happiness and our heads with sleepy thoughts. Goodnight everyone!


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