07/31/05
We got up early Sunday morning and headed for the South Rim Trail.  We were
delayed about 10 minutes while a herd of buffalo crossed the road.  Now that one
lonely buffalo that we saw yesterday doesn’t seem so special.  I was sitting in the
window of the truck, shooting photo after photo.  There was a mom and her calf, who
stopped to nurse directly in front of us in the middle of the road.  It had been a very
cold morning, so fortunately we were in the truck.  I don’t think it would have been
safe to be riding through them on the motorcycle.  We saw several riders who had
thought the same and were waiting for the buffalo to clear before they got back on.
You know how they have drug-sniffing dogs, well it appears that the National Park
Service is using bomb-sniffing bison.  Here is one buffalo bomb agent checking out
our truck.  Can you believe they are that close?
When we got about a mile into the trail, we were in a large open meadow, and had
to stop and wait again for buffalo to cross.  It wasn’t as exciting this time, being that
we were just standing there, not in the shelter of our truck (or any shelter for that
matter, there weren’t even any trees to climb nearby.)  We stood about 100 feet
away and waited until they cleared the trail before we proceeded.  We saw several
more “thermal features” which really are just stinky boiling holes in the ground.  This
time, though, since we were on a back trail and were the only ones around, we
were able to go right up to the “features” and get a closer look.  (They stink worse
up close.)
Then we got up to the canyon.  The pictures, like always, just don’t do it justice.  
There are gorgeous colors on the canyon walls, and the river is so clear, that we
could see all the way to the bottom, from as high up as we were.  
There are two large waterfalls to see, and we took tons of pictures.  
We walked about 6 miles, and most of that was up and down.  It kicked our asses.