08/03/05 to 08/07/05
On Wednesday, 8-3, we went to Fire Hole River to the swimming area we had
seen the other day.  It was very cold when we headed out, but when we got
there, I peeled off my rain jacket, my zip-up hooded sweatshirt, my sweatshirt,
my long-sleeve thermal shirt, and my t-shirt, and we jumped in.  Richard
climbed up so he could be swept down in the rapids.  

He climbed up…
He jumped in...
He avoided running into the other kids he was playing with.
Then we put all our clothes back on, and picnicked by the falls.  
Thursday, 8-4, as we drove up to the Mammoth Hot Springs area of
Yellowstone, we passed Roaring Mountain.  With the sun hitting the steam
pouring out of the thermal features, it was an amazing site.  
We checked into the campground (anyone want to take a guess on the hook-up
situation  at this campground?)  and went for a 6 mile hike that was supposed to
take us into the back country, to several beaver ponds.  We were supposed to
see lots of wildlife along the way.  The brochure says, “Look for elk, mule deer,
pronghorn, moose, beaver dams and lodges, the occasional beaver, and
waterfowl.  Be alert for bears:  both black and grizzly bears forage in this area.”  
Bullshit (well, we didn’t really see any of that either.)  What we saw were three
farm tank looking ponds, obviously not caused by any stinking beaver, and the
only wildlife we saw were two snakes, a bunch of ducks, and a ton of
mosquitoes.  The hike was a bummer, and gave us sore legs, so we headed
down to Boiling River.  Now this feature is not mentioned in any of the literature
that Yellowstone hands out.  They want to keep it quiet because it is overrun.  
We knew about it from our friend Shannon, who we stayed with in Reno.  It’s not
even on the map.  Well, I just asked a friendly park ranger for directions, and we
were on our way.  Anyway, Boiling River runs into Gardner River and that is
where you swim.  The super hot water touches one part of you, while the
freezing cold water hits another.  It was a lot of fun, but even at 7:30PM when we
went, it was very crowded.  We had hoped that everyone would have gone
home to eat dinner.  It opens at 5:00AM, so we may head back one morning to
try to enjoy it without all the extra bodies.  We soaked our sore legs on the hot
side for about half an hour, but they are still sore.  
Friday, 8-5, we took the motorcycle to the Tower area and went on another
hike that was supposed to, but didn’t, offer lots of wildlife sightings.  We saw
the Tower Falls, and neat looking stacked rock formations from past
volcanoes, then we headed back to the campground.
(I know by now, some of you must be thinking that Richard can’t
shave because his electric razor won’t work when we don’t have any
hook-ups.  No, Richard does not own an electric razor.   He offers no
excuse or explanation for his new scruffy appearance.)  
To celebrate my birthday, we drove 6 hours on Saturday, to good ole
Missoula Montana, in search of civilization where we could get a
campground with electricity, groceries that are not overpriced, and have
a cell-phone signal, so I can upload all this stuff.  We had hoped that
since Missoula's name was printed slightly larger on the map, that it
would be a big enough town to have a t-mobile signal so I could upload
web pages.  Well, not only do we not get a t-mobile signal, we don't get a
phone signal at all.  However, the campground we found has free WIFI,
so I'm at least able to do internet and emails.  So, for my birthday, I got to
take a LONG hot shower and blow dry my hair.