Monday, June 20, 2005

Journey part 4: Yellowstone

I have been wracking my brain for a day‘s worth of memories of Yellowstone. I mean, we planned our trip so we would have a day there. I remember arriving. I remember driving through the post-huge-Yellowstone-fire devastation. I remember seeing deer and buffalo and prairie dogs and Old Faithful.

I remember that I wanted, more than anything, to tip a buffalo (Yeah, yeah, I know - American Bison. So sue me, I called them buffalo back then). I knew of cow tipping and somehow I thought it would be fun to tip a buffalo. The buffalo were in the process of losing their winter coats then, so they looked pretty mangy and I could smell them from 100 yards away. Probably wouldn’t have actually tipped one, since it would have taken all four of us and I think I’m the only one who cared to tip. Then I discovered that tipping cows can result in broken pelvic bones and injure the animal. I thought we’d just knock one over and run away…jump over the fence or something so it couldn’t get us. But I didn’t want to hurt it.

So I ended up buying a little plastic buffalo to keep inside the car (now that Chip was our hood ornament we needed a new dashboard friend). I named him “Tippy” and tipped him frequently.

I remember Horehound stick candy.

Perplexed over lack of sunshiny Yellowstone memories, I called on Polina. Follows is our abridged IM conversation:

Me: I'm up to Yellowstone but I don't remember much except that I didn't get to tip a buffalo but bought a little plastic one. We saw old faithful and the result of the big fire and fed prairie dogs. Doesn't make for very interesting reading, but how can you gloss over Yellowstone?

Polina: You can borrow my bad memory excuse but we were in Yellowstone for like 3 hrs! We zipped right through. The fire and charred trees…

Me: Really? God, I thought we planned the whole thing around Yellowstone

Polina: You don't remember how listless we were by then? We drove in, then went to that visitor center with the geyser and it was all packed with people and then we just drove a bit more, stopped like twice, and then headed the hell out it was this sense of like - we're supposed to be doing something here, but what?!?

Me: Crazy. That's pretty much what I remember, but I thought - there's no way we went through yellowstone between lunch & dinner.

Polina: we weren't that into it.

My final Yellowstone memory is that we stopped for dinner as soon as we got out of the park in Montana and Sharon ordered a Buffalo Burger.


Blogger Kate said...

LOL your friend is funny.

" was this sense of like - we're supposed to be doing something here, but what?!?"

"We weren't that into it".

hey, that's real. Maybe it's harder to enjoy something with all these expectations than it would be in some ordinary place where we expect nothing, you know? :-) I can relate.

3:33 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger cjblue said...

It makes me a little sad though, because I have soft-focus visions of doing a family road trip across country, and of course stopping in Yellowstone. I want my children to be awed by the grandeur and majesty of it all. How can I expect that when "we weren't that into it?"

We had been driving for days and days though, in our defense. And honestly, I don't know what our expectations were, but I think we were unprepared for having to fight RVs and crowds. Maybe in our own soft-focus visions, we were the only ones there.

3:48 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Trina said...

This may get me publicly flogged, but...

That's exactly how I am with art museums. I love art, don't get me wrong, but I'm not *into* it. I went to the Dalí exhibit recently, and the DaVinci exhibit a few years ago. I blazed through both of them, looking at the things that interested me for a few minutes (max!) before moving along. I finished them EASILY an hour before the people I went with.

I just cannot stand there and study a painting for ages. I don't *want* to know the background behind each piece. I like knowing about the artists and their history, but for me art is personal and I don't want its impact on me affected by the "back story". And I certainly don't want to look at every single thing, OR have to battle the throngs to do so.

So I totally understand breezing through Yellowstone, and don't feel bad! It only takes the briefest moment for grandeur and beauty to impact you. And whether you stay for an hour or a day, it still becomes a part of you, no matter how soft your focus is before or after.

7:41 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger mireille said...

*THWACK!* publicly flogging trina! *fun*

yeah, we were that way as we worked our way down the East coast. "Oh. More revolutionary war hero statuary. God, are we EVER going to get to New York?"


8:14 PM, June 20, 2005  

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