Some Yellowstone thoughts:
- The water that comes out of the geysers can have a temperature that is above the boiling point. In the popular tourist areas, there are signs that warn you to stay on the path and not to touch anything off the path. We saw several instances of people putting their hands into the water coming out of the geysers. This was especially troubling when the people were children that were being encouraged by their parents to touch the water.
- Remember the joke that asks "Where does a 600 pound gorilla sit?" with the answer being "Wherever it wants." At Yellowstone, the question should be "Where does a 2,000 pound bison go?" There are frequently 20-30 car long backups in the car because a herd of bison decided to cross the street. Even though bison can run at speeds of 30 miles per hour, this type of speed is seldom used. A single bison can spend minutes crossing the road. I think their thought process must be something like this:
Hmmm.... Something black to walk across. Hey, there's nothing to eat here... Well, I can stand here and chew my cud for a while. Look! A yellow line. It isn't edible either. Well, I can stand on the yellow line. Isn't this fun? Let me take a few steps forward. That was tiring and I still haven't made it off of the black thing. Let me chew my cud some more. WOW! There's grass ahead. Let me get off the black thing so I can get something to eat.
- There is definitely a sheep mentality at Yellowstone and reveilles and I are both guilty of falling prey to it. If a few people have pulled off the side of the road and are looking in the same direction, the conclusion is that they must be looking at something. It is therefore imperative to also pull off the road to see what it is they are looking it.
- The popular areas of Yellowstone (such as Old Faithful) have nicely marked paths and signs warning you not to go off the paths. If you take short hikes away from the popular areas, both the nice paths and warning signs can disappear very quickly. The trails we hiked were marked by red squares attached to trees. At one point, we were standing at a tree marked with a red square and after a little bit of looking, found the next red square. However, there was no clear path between the two and there was a hot spring between the two trail markers and no fences or barriers to prevent you from going into the spring. We took what seemed like the most likely path which took us within feet of the hot spring. It was only after making it to the other side that we realized that the path veered around the hot spring and we walked where we probably shouldn't have been walking. Oops.
- There was a piano in the lobby of the hotel we stayed in and we spent several evenings sitting in the lobby listening to the pianist. On Thursday evening, I went up and asked the pianist if she could play "The Way You Look Tonight", which was our first dance at our wedding. She had the music, and as she started to play, I took reveilles' hand and we danced in the hotel lobby. As we were dancing, another couple danced along with us. When I went down to the lobby the next day to pick up our lunches, the woman working at the restaurant asked if I was one of the couples that danced the previous night. I said yes, and she said she thought it was "Very sweet." When reveilles and I went to the gift shop later in the day, the gentleman working at the register thanked us for dancing. He said that he was in the other couple that danced and that he and his wife celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary the previous night and didn't want to be the only ones dancing. On Friday, we went down to the lobby again, and the pianist asked me if I wanted her to play "The Way You Look Tonight" again. I said yes, so we danced a second evening. We went back to the lobby again on Sunday, our last night at Yellowstone. While we were sitting down listening to the piano, the woman who worked at the restaurant came over to listen to the piano too. As she sat down, she asked us if we had danced yet. When we said no, she said "Good." Before we left the lobby for the evening, we did dance one last time at Yellowstone, though to a song neither of us knew.