Yellowstone National Park

Being off the CDT has been great fun! For the last 8 days, we have been in Yellowstone National Park, walking through the park on a route east of the caldera and lake. This is the serengeti of the USA! We’ve seen lots of buffalo (bison!), herds of antelope (they are not real antelope but that’s what they call these aninmals here), elk (wapiti deer) and their shed antlers (too heavy to carry – alas!), wolf tracks (lots!) and more evidence of bears than is good for a peaceful night of sleep: the euphemistacally named “bear cake”, hairs stuck to trees, scratch marks 3 meters high on trees and foot prints (look a lot like naked human feet). We also saw a badger, a fox, coyote, two toads and two frogs and the last third of a snake! Still waiting to see moose.

Because this is Yellowstone, we’ve also walked past steaming springs, lots of interesting vulcanic rocks and other signs of the areas eruptive past. Particularly amazing are pieces of fossilised wood that lie around here and there – some red, some white with clearly visible fibre structure of wood which could easily be mistaken for bleached bits of old timber … but they are 50 million years old! At the North edge of the park we passed an erroding hillside where whole logs of these trees were exposed.

Today we are resting after 9 very hot days in a row (still can’t cope with the heat!) in Cody, tourist town and famous for Buffalo Bill’s travelling show of “the Wild West”. He practically invented the whole romantic cowboy thing.

Brian has worn out his 3rd pair of shoes and my hiking dress (dress number 2) is starting to fall to pieces so we will be shopping for new apparel.

Deliberating over whether to hike a detour through the Tetons or whether to rejoin the CDT in 4 days distance and continue straight towards the Wind River mountains on the CDT.

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