Another beautiful late summer day. Left Scottsbluuf and drove north along the western edge of Nebraska to US 20. Joining my old highway friend for the next couple of days.
First town in Wyoming on US 20. In 1996 the population was 8.
Then two years ago, 18. The elevation has stayed the same.
Redwood water tank, Lusk, WY, built in 1886 and used to store
water for the steam engines.
Common scene along Us 20 in Wyoming.
This too a common scene. Trainload of coal cars.
Distant mountains coming into view.
Free camsite operated by the city of Douglas, WY. North Platte
River in background. Hot showers included. I think this is the
fourth time I've camped here.
Full moon rising.
Left Douglas making my way to Cody for a reading at The Beta Coffeehouse.
And once again, a perfectly clear sky.
Stopped at Rock in the Glen, as I always do when passing this way.
Glenrock. Kit Carson and thousands of others camped here. Names out of history class, old western TV shows.
standing by glen rock
settlers names carved in sandstone
white clouds drifting by
All life moves, moves, moves but the rocks seem to stand still. An illusion. A time scale much different than what we relate to. Settlers passing by 160 years ago in horse drawn wagons. I traveling through in an old beat car. The rocks sit, slowly move in their own way to someplace further on.
The big white rock in the background is glen rock.
One of the many names.
From on the rock.
Wind River Canyon.
US 20 through the canyon. A dozen or so miles with cliffs
rising up to 2,500' above. Some of these rocks are among the
oldest visible in the world, dating back to pre-Cambrian time,
moree than 2.9 billion years ago.
Another must stop for me, the mineral springs at Hot Springs
State Park in Thermopolis. 105 degree mineral water can be
enjoyed free of charge for 20 minutes thanks to a treaty
between the Federal Government and the Arapaho and Shoshone.
Young elk browsing in a field near Meteetse, WY. There were eight
in all, with cattle browsing not too far away.
The reading in Cody went well. Only four people, but again, good conversation
and a few book sales. And, as I always hear after a reading with a small
turnout, "There should have been more people here." Yes, that would be nice,
but I never concern myself about numbers and it's nice to have a small,
informal, intimate reading like this every once in awhile.
Tomorrow into Yellowstone!
Before leaving Cody I stopped in at The Beta Coffeehouse to meet Lydia, the owner. Thanked her for hosting the reading and we both had a laugh over how the relationship began with the phone conversation. A very pleasant person. I gave her a copy of Twenty Dys on Route 20 before leaving and a couple of others to sell.
Morning moon over mountain, Cody, WY.
On the way toward Yellowstone. This is my fifth time visiting Yellowstone
Most have been short visits, like this one, a day or two. Still, always
a fulfilling experience no matter how short a stay.
One of the small geysers at Norris Geyser Basin.
Constantly steaming vent hole.
More thermal activity bubbling up.
Whenever I expedrience the geothermaal activity here in Yellowstone
it reminds me of a quote of Henry Beston in The Outermost House.
"Creation is here and now." The geysers, mudpots, steam vents, etc.
always leave me feeling like I'm witnessing the early days of the planet.
Blowdown along the trail I was hiking. From a few years ago.
These are Lodgepole Pine. This same area was ravaged by a forest
fire 25 years ago.
Back at camp heating water for my sencha tea after the hike.
Camped at Norris Campground.
Raven called from nearby quite often while at camp. Didn't get to see it.
For the evening I knew where I wanted to hike, to Point Sublime.
At Artist Point, an overlook of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, I left the crowd behind and walked off on a trail that led to Point Sublime. In five minutes walking I was removed from all the others and seemed to have the canyon rim to myself.
crowds left behind at roadside
roar of waterfall
At this place I had an intriguing exchange with a raven standing on cliff edge about fifteen feet away. Whenever he called out, three hoarse croaks, I repeated the sequence back to him. He'd look at me, look away, cock his head sideways, call again. We repeated this numerous times. When I tried to get closer, moving ever so slowly, he flew off, calling out one more time as he left. I started to leave too, took a couple of steps, then heard a deep male voice but couldn't make out what it was saying. I looked up and down the trail but saw no one. I listened for some other sound, footsteps, more words. Only silence. Then some strong force drew me to canyon edge, to the depths.
standing on cliff edge
shadow lurking far below
please come back to me
What would it be like to jump, soar down, for a brief moment airborne, then . . . I had to move back, sit down on a rock. Something uncomfortable going on here. Then raven appeared overhead, calling once more as he flew off across the gorge, out of sight.
There's power in landscape, forces that make certain places special, magical, mysterious. Raven's a trickster. I must go back there some day.
So, at the Artist Point parking lot I once again left the crowds behind. The following pictures are from the hike.
It was an excellent two hour hike, 2 mile hike, stopping to
take pictures, examine mushrooms, stand quietly contemplating
rushing Yellowstone river
carries song up here
Just after I started the hike back from Sublime Point a gentleman
and woman passed by. He asked how far to the point and I replied
just up ahead. Later on the trail as I had just finished jotting in
my notebook they passed me again, he in front, she behind. A little
beyond that I caught back up with them and we started talking. They
are Chinese who now live in the Boston area. They've been here since
the late 1980s. When I mentioned being a poet they were interested to
hear that (so often the response I get is like oh, ok.) I mentioned the
Chinese poets I've been influenced by and they recognized many of them.
We walked together the rest of the way on the trail getting to know each
other a little bit. At the parking lot we exchanged contact info and I gave them
been to many National Parks and listed Acadia as one of their favorites.
We took pictures and then parted to go our separate ways. Maybe our paths will
cross again if I schedule a reading out their way someday.
Zhi, me and Jan
After that I drove over to Dunraven Pass as dark was descending.
A number of years ago on a family trip here we watched a grizzly
sow and four cubs for quite awhile and at a fairly close distance.
No grizzly this time, though there was a crowd of cars and people
about a quarter mile away watching and taking photos of something.
I refused to join the crowd, stayed at my spot and kept gazing out
over the terrain. I did spot a black bear at one point while talking to
another couple who stopped by. Sjhe's a print maker and they were
about my standing there alone by the car with notebook in hand.
After they left I stayed till it was completely dark. Some animal kept
calling out but I couldn't tell what it was as I listened in the silence
between passing cars. At times it sounded dog-like, other times almost
like a donkey or some such animal. I left, a little mystery in mind.