Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bao was scared of the geysers at first, probably because they smelled of sulpher.
He was even more scared of all the big, barking dogs in the cars. People bring their dogs to Yellowstone, and then (because pets aren't allowed on the boardwalks) shut them up in parked cars while their owners walk out into the geyser basins. And it was hot, even in Yellowstone. No wonder they were barking.
But there was a brisk wind blowing, and people kept stopping to pet him and take his picture. It wasn't long before he settled down to enjoy the spectacle.
And what a spectacle! The geyser basins are an Impressionist palette of vivid color, blue and yellow and green and orange and crimson. I found the colors surrounding the mud pots and hot springs even more spectacular than the geysers themselves. Especially Grand Prismatic Spring, where the steamy mist rising from the swirl of color contains dozens of diaphamous, shimmering rainbows.
Walking on the boardwalks reminded me of my walks through the crater of Kilauea, in Hawaii, over 40 years ago. There were boardwalks there, too. And lava fields. Now, it's a live volcano again. Certainly makes you stop and think.
We spent the whole day, but only managed to get from Old Faithful to Madison. We might have done more, but I drove off the road into a sink-hole while attempting to navigate a turn-out on Firehole Canyon Drive. We were wedged tight, and there was no signal (we were at the bottom of a canyon) so my cell phone didn't work and I couldn't call for help. This began to be scary. But then two women in a van who'd noticed me and Bao earlier stopped and -- with the help of a few other people who stopped as well -- finally managed to get us back on the road.
Shaken, we headed for Bozeman and a double scotch.


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