Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Settling In.

I've had an amazing past two weeks or so - I've been taking advantage of skiing and being out in the park as much as possible.  The previous weekend, Graham and I went to Bozeman, MT to get a few things that we were low on and some snacks for the room.  I had the morning off before we were supposed to catch the luggage coach out of the park, so I went skiing at Spring Creek with a couple of friends.

It's an absolutely beautiful and peaceful area - the creek runs along down a gorge that prevents the wind from whipping around.  The trail was (for the most part) a gradual downhill, making it pretty easy to ski on.  However, on our way back - we stopped at Lone Star Geyser and back the Howard Eaton, which is a pretty steep hill up and down.  (I fell a lot but had a blast!)

On our way back from Bozeman, it was an amazing sunset of the Absaroka Mountain range. The sky was on fire over the mountains.  The next day, I was able to take a tour from Mammoth to Old Faithful from our friend, Justin.  It was a little bit of a gray day (as most days are around here) but we got to see lots of bison and a coyote.  It's just nice to be able to move around the park a little bit since we are pretty much trapped in the Old Faithful area.

I went out one evening after work and skied around the Upper Geyser Basin.  It was a rare clear blue day with lots of bison (as they like the warm geothermal features) and quite a few coyotes.  The bison use their massive muscles in their shoulders to use their heads to push the snow around to get to the grass underneath.  It's amazing to watch them pushing it around and creating a mask of snow on their faces.

There are quite a few coyotes that hang out in the Old Faithful area (people attract coyotes), which I worry about on my way to work at 6 a.m. sometimes.  I found a nice spot to watch the sunset where the last rays of the suns light would shine through the steam from some geothermal spots.  However, after standing there for about five minutes a coyote came about 25 feet from me and settled in for the night.  I didn't stay in this spot because the coyote made me a little worried. 

Instead I found a spot where the sun was reflecting beautifully in this creek/marshy area.  (Bison often hang out in this spot - I'm glad they weren't there on this particular evening.)  I've got to go to work now; however, I won't be as delayed in sharing this past weekend (two 10 mile skis!).  Til then - best wishes.

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