The title refers to the manhood mystery I mentioned yesterday, but I'll get to that in a bit. I should mention that the traffic was only happy because of my position within it.
Make no mistake, I know who the star of this blog is, so let's get this out of the way now - the King greets the morning against the backdrop of the slightly less hazy Grand Teton Mountains. A fellow came up to us during this photo shoot to say hi to Solomon. Turned out he was a vet who had a Maine Coone (sp?) that loved being on the road too. As he walked away, I asked him something I've never asked before on any of my trips - would you mind taking a photo of Solomon and me? He was happy to oblige. The photo of us was awful (not his fault). We bumped into the vet again, many miles later, taking photos at the first of what would become a series of mind-blowing locations for all of us park visitors.
Before this though, I made a quick stop. I am often asked, "Where do you shower?" about my Hoboxian lifestyle. I found this spot off road and here's an example of where. Not a bad way to start a day. Unless we had been mauled by bears.
When I woke in Jackson, WY (or Jackson Hole, not sure why they use both), my only plan was to hit Glacier National Park before heading into Canada. The Tetons were hazy and I'd heard that Yellowstone was just some ugly old volcano.
The idea that I may have skipped Yellowstone National Park makes me shake my head now. Still, we only saw a tiny fraction of the magnificence. I took the photo below because I had lunch at the Old Faithful Inn and one of the bellhops doubling as a bar waitress clued me in to the secret hike to get this angle. I didn't even know what she was directing me to. The photo has absolutely no color enhancement. And of course it was even more eye-popping in person. To get the shot I took a wild gamble. She'd mentioned that the hike was "a couple blocks" which could have meant anything. The only bummer of the day was that it was still too hot to leave Solomon in the car for long, so I couldn't do any ambitious hikes. If this one was too far, I would have turned back. Regardless, the gamble was leaving my windows completely down. I'm rather foolishly trusting about theft. I was far more concerned with Solomon getting a little antsy and hopping out, because he certainly couldn't get back in like he does when I open the doors and let him out.
All went well and my snoring feline didn't even notice I had left (as usual). We drove "around the block" to get the close-up experience of THE GRAND PRISMATIC SPRING and MIDWAY GEYSER BASIN!
I didn't have to leave the windows down all the way after that having lucked into a shaded parking spot and the temperature decreasing slightly. Obviously I took hundreds of photos and I'll share a tiny few and then reveal the big event!
The last photo was a biker checking out the amazing waterfall behind me.
And not far up the road from Gibbon Falls, there was quite a lot of traffic. Cars were stopped about a hundred meters ahead and it was obvious something was up: there was a thrill in the air. BUT, as I was interpreting this, to my immediate left was something I found stop worthy, if not jaw-dropping. I was confused by the cars stopping ahead because their view, whatever it was, was way off the road. I made a hasty u-turn and the following unfolded ...
Solomon slumbers as I start taking snaps of BISON!
The white van slows. And before we know it ...
The lady bison have a protector. (not the biker)
Everyone starts slowly driving around.
Everyone but me, of course. And the poor folks behind me. I wave at the growing line of cars that they can go around, but everyone is beside themselves with excitement and all come up to get pictures. Well the first dozen cars or so.
And here's where I become a man. It's somewhat along the lines of when I made the giant cats at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana purr and rub against their fences, but that did more for my reputation as an ecofeminist honorary lesbian. This one was pure balls.
The bull was much farther from Hobox when I stopped and he got progressively closer, slow and non-threatening, but the guy was intimidating just to look at. When most everyone had gotten their photos and cars stopped realizing they could go by and the traffic piled up, I stood in front of the guy and spoke plainly to him (and gesticulating of course) and said, "Alright brother, it's time to get back to your ladies."
He turned and marched down the side of the road.
I've posted a short video capturing some of Solomon's reaction to this ... when he finally heard them, he shot up from his bed (which I didn't get unfortunately). You can see it here ... SOLOMON vs BISON.
Now I joke, but it was quite a blast. I would have loved to thrown a blanket over the back of him and ride him off the road, but there are laws.
And speaking of laws, after hours more fun of incredible and inspiring sight-seeing, I made my way out the in door of the Northern Entrance to Bozeman, Montana and chose a rather poor sleep location - the very dark back side of the University stadium. Thirty minutes in, the Law on Segway kindly asked me to get out of town and sleep in the federal park land. I reconfigured. I've gotten rusty!