Wednesday, August 11, 2010

roam if you want toooooo....roam around the world

here it is! part two! it's what you've been waiting for - did i sleep at all that first night? what else happened on the great camping expedition of 2010?

so camp was set up. we had the stuff for s'mores. i thought it would be fun to go check out a yellowstone thermo feature before we came back to build a fire. i didn't know i would almost be killed by an elk while on this little jaunt near the lake. but hey. no one really knows when they'll be looking death right in the face. and who knew that death looks like a cow elk?

paul and i headed over to west thumb geyser basin, a lovely little hot pot of activity on the shore of yellowstone lake. did you know the lake is so cold that no one really swims in it? and it's at about 8000 feet above sea level, too. don't you just love little facts? i do. i'm always googling or wikipedia'ing something. (also a word. you can find it next to swassy. in an unalphabetical dictionary. unalphabetical is also a word, and is also in that dictionary.)

oops. got off track. so we're nearing the end of our lovely evening walk around the boardwalk and we've seen some stanky boiling mud pots, and some gorgeous hot springs. and by gorgeous, i mean absolutely amazing. there is nothing like these hot springs anywhere else. and we come across a cow elk, grazing on some grass RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOARDWALK. sooo coool, right? paul even walks right up next to her and makes me take a pic (posted on facebook soon, i promise...). he's a total idiot, because to his immediate left, THERE IS A LITTLE BABY ELK. it still has its spots, so it's really just a little guy. now there is a section of boardwalk that has railings (because you know elk can't jump, right? why did i think (and still think...) that those railings were safer than the section of boardwalk without railings? i don't want to walk through the mom and the baby. but paul keeps telling me i'll be fine. so, in a moment of complete idiocy, i decide, fine, i'll do it. so i walk through and the freaking cow charges my ass.

do you think i'm joking? I AM NOT. i think i peed just a little bit in my pants. for the rest of the trip, i was convinced i was going to get trampled by an elk, eaten by a bear, and/or gored by a bison. and? i bitched about it. a lot.

so we go back to camp, and make our delicious s'mores. sooo good. roasting marshmallows is one of the best things on earth. i decide i'm going to take a sleeping pill before i climb into my sleeping bag. unfortunately, i drank a bit too much wine, so at 12:30 a.m., i had to pee. i totally wake up paul to make him take me to the bathroom, because i'm convinced that mr. grizzly bear is right outside our tent, ready to eat the people in the camp next door BECAUSE THEY WERE ALWAYS COOKING.

i freeze my ass off on the way to the potty...and then i come back to the tent. the wind kicks up, it sprinkles a bit, and the trees make sooo much noise. i swear i kept hearing bear noises (whatever those are) outside our tent. paul is super patient... he tells me everything is fine, he strokes my hair, and he never gets mad. meanwhile, I AM INSANE. totally INSANE. i'm convinced i'm going to be ripped out of the tent by my head. and partially eaten, which is way worse than being wholly eaten, right? i think i slept about 3 hours that night. maybe less. whatever. it sucked, but i didn't die.

more later? we'll seee.....

Monday, August 9, 2010

vacation all i ever wanted

my kids are off visiting their dad...and i can't stand having an empty house. it IS nice and peaceful...and lonely. i'm not like most divorced parents, who get a weekend of no kids every other week... my kids are with me all of the time. and? that is how i want it. i wouldn't have it any other way. however, my husband probably grows weary of it every now and then, so i told him we could go on vacation while my kids were gone.

in a moment of temporary insanity, i agreed to go camping in yellowstone for a week.

back the truck up.



in bear country. in a tent.

what the HELL was i thinking??? i hate camping! i hate being dirty! my idea of "roughing it" is staying at a hotel that hasn't been recently remodeled. like the excalibur in las vegas, for instance. or... sleeping on the couch (which is something i never do...). what i'm trying to say here is that I DO NOT CAMP. ever.

the campground i picked out did have flushing toilets and pay showers. yay for running water. yay for husbands who put up with incessant complaining about being cold, scared and swassy. (that is not a typo. thanks, drive through...)

we made the drive up to yellowstone pretty uneventfully. we stopped off for some sandwiches in alpine junction, where i hit my head rather hard on the latch mechanism of the shell on my husband's truck. super awesome sauce. the teton mountains are absolutely spectacular. i will post some photos on facebook later. paul has them all on his camera.

we got to our campground and because i was the one who had made the reservation (and i am the planner/organizer/pants wearer when it comes to these kind of things), i went to the counter to check in. the lady asked if i had camped in bear country before... and that is where things went to poop really fast. i said to her, "i haven't camped for like 15 years. and i sure hell haven't camped in bear country." she then rattled off a list of RULES TO FOLLOW unless YOU WANT TO SUFFER DEATH BY BEAR, which included her circling little bullet points on the campground map in bright orange highlighter. she did the circling on text that was upside down to her (so i could read it...) which i found somewhat calming... and distracting... wait. where was i?

hells. bells.

at the end of THE RULES YOU'LL FOLLOW IF YOU WANT TO LIVE, she proceeds to further inform me that a male grizzly bear lives near the campground and that he walks through it ALMOST EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. WHAT. THE. F. AM. I. DOING. OUT. HERE?!??!

she tells me to call 911 if i see him. great. i'll do that. thanks, lady. i will not sleep for the next four nights. and damn, i had planned to keep my stash of beef jerky under my pillow.

we found our space without any trouble and decided we really liked our little spot we'd been assigned. just as we got our tent set up, our neighbors arrived. sigh. they had two camp spaces because they had a large group. they were LOUD. they didn't know how to set up their tents. and THEY WERE ALWAYS COOKING. and driving the wrong way on the one way streets in the campground. OMG. and? they stayed all week! LUCKY US! i was convinced their constant cooking was going to get us eaten by a bear. one of them had a hair dryer - and he used it. every day. i wish you could have seen his hair. it was... indescribable.

speaking of hair. guess what i intentionally left at home? because i'm a a real camper, dammit?

my flat iron and my hair dryer. i never go ANYWHERE overnight without my flat iron. no.where.

so. we're here. we have the tent set up. the food in the cooler is cool. we have the stuff to make s'mores (11 dollars later. we forgot our stuff to make them at home, so we had to buy the fixins in the park...)

but the real question: does this girl sleep at night???

you'll have to stay tuned to find out...