Sunday, September 1 – Single Digits

With only 9 days left until we leave here for our return trip home, a time to reflect… and enjoy some bison up close and personal.

Last year by this time we had already experienced a few late season frosts. This year we had just one a few weeks ago. Since then the overnight temperatures have hung in the 40s. The daytime highs have stayed in the low 70s and, by Florida standards, the humidity has been low so it’s been very comfortable.

We had our little fire episode and that actually is still an ongoing saga but no one feels threatened anymore. We’ve had a fair amount of rain the past two weeks and, we’re told, high humidity so the fires have been largely inactive. The constant presence of firefighting equipment and the 2 week project to build a fire break behind the campground reminds us that this aspect of our Yellowstone adventure will remain with us until we’re headed home.

pumpkin

Firefighting “Pumpkin”; we like to think of it as a hot tub

This weekend marks the final days of most of the activities available at the Marina. The last day for motorboat and rowboat rentals is Labor Day and the same applies to guided fishing trips. For the final week the only offering from the Marina will be our scenic cruise. Richard and I have only 18 more trips around the lake before heading east on Tuesday the 10th.

Saturday night we laid in a fire in our fire ring an hour or so before sunset. Our neighbors know that if they see smoke from our campground they have a standing invitation to join us and several did. And so did about a dozen bison. It was almost comical as the mostly female herd wandered into the campsite across the road, milling about what they must have assumed was a watering hole (the firefighting “pumpkin”). Soon enough, however, they made their way across to Richard’s site and they had their eyes on our site when Betty had an idea. Betty is working this year as an NPS ranger in our back country office so she knows a little something about bison control. She told me to find an empty plastic grocery bag to wave around so it would make a crinkling sound. Apparently bison don’t like that sound. Before I could get my hands on a bag, Jim  grabbed a nearby tarp and began waving it around, making an even louder crinkling sound than the grocery bag would have made. The bison that had been about 20 feet away was suddenly back on the other side of the road. Jim later realized he’d been lucky the bison didn’t just get pissed off.

Note to readers: next week’s posting could be a bit late as we prepare to depart

 

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