Broke camp and made my way over to Old Faithful. This was my fifth visit to the park, usually brief visits, and I thought it was time to go experience THE geyser.
Needed at least one bison picture from YNP.
Tundra Swan in Firehole River.
Bison and thermal springs.
The next pictures are of Old Faithful, a progression of shots
as it started to erupt until near ending, maybe a total of 2 -3 minutes.
I have to admit that I was more impressed with Old Faithful
than I thought I would be.
Before leaving the park I needed to take a swim in Firehole River,
a place recommended to me by my sister and then by Eric and Heidi
at the reading in Cody. Just upstream is a series of rapids and below
a quiet pool. I went in on the left side of the picture and swam, floated
with the current down to the pool. Immensely refreshing.
Fly fisherman in the Madison River on my way out
of YNP. This was a scene out of the old Field and
Stream and Sports Afield magazines I would read
as a teenager, dreaming of fishing in a place like this.
I don't fish now, but I've been part of this scene from
behind the camera a number of times now.
Looking to the east as I drove north from Yellowstone late
in the day.
Then, to the west an hour or so later. Ah, Montana skies.
It rained a bit as I drove into the nightime hours to Missoula
for a visit with Elaine, a friend I met for the first time a few years
ago at a reading in Dillon, MT. She still mentions that was the
only poetry reading she's been to that made her cry.
A day spent in Missoula at Elaine's. Working at home in the morning while she and the boys were at school, she going to massage school.
View of Missoula and surrounding area from a hill just across
from Elaine's house.
Late aternoon we went to a local park for a hike. Woods, stream, wild growth. Snowberry bushes, mountain ash, elderberries, large trees. Also, a great horned owl that we were able to get a good look at. A pleasant outing in nature while being in the city.
Elaine with her boys, Graham and Neal.
Great Horned Owl.
Her boys, Neal, 8 and Graham, 4 remind me a lot of Grayson and Chapin when they were younger. They are the same age difference as my boys, too. Enjoyable to spend time with them, play with them.
Back at the house we had a wonderful dinner that included fried green tomatoes, (Elaine's a southerner from Alabama) pasta with homemade sauce and bison meatballs. While she was fixing supper the boys and I ran cooked garden tomatoes through a hand-cranked mill, separating the juice from the pulp. As Neal said afterwards, "That was fun!" Though living in Missoula, temporarily, Elaine's trying to live as much as possible a country life with chickens, garden, canning food.
Graham and Neal working hard and having fun with the tomatoes.
She's also a fine artist and after our house fire last year she donated six of her encaustic pieces to the rebuilding benefit held at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning, NY. Each work was centered around an old journal page of mine that survived the fire. All that was left was scraps, but she turned those into pieces of art that will go on for a long time to come. Here's a picture of one:
Once again, the reminder that one segment of this journey is a connecting of past and present. Of meeting new friends, connecting with old friends. As I'm now out west, there's also that sense of wondering if I'll be out this way again, if I'll once more connect in person with the people I know, care about. Elaine is one of those people.
Tomorrow, back on the road, down to Dillon for a reading at UM Western. This is the first day of the seventh week of the journey. By the end of this week the journey will be half over and I'll be on the Pacific Coast.
once again leaving
taking with me memories
will more lie ahead
Low clouds obscuring mountain tops as I head east out of Missoula on I-90 heading toward Butte, then south to Dillon. Passed a long train carrying sections of wind turbine support poles. "Vestas" on end coverings. Googled Vestas and discovered they're a Denmark company that has been building wind turbines since the late 1970s.
This is my fourth visit to Dillon over the last couple of years. Always enjoy coming down this way. My reading was at UM Western as part of their Dancing With Words Series. Alan, a FootHills poet and professor at the University booked me for the series. I had read there also back in 2011.
Had a wonderful pre-reading outing at a local restaurant with members of the English Dep't. and others. The reading itself was well attended with students, faculty and some folks from the community. Always enjoyable to read in a college setting. Talked with a few students afterwards and that too, is always special. Also spoke a bit with Bill, another professor, who came from the Buffalo, NY Polish Community. Grew up maybea mile from where I did.
We capped off the evening with a drink at a local ber, Alan, Dave, a retired professor friend of his from Colorado, and myself. Good talk about nature, literature and a few personal stories thrown in.
I realized at the end of the day that I didn't take a single picture! This is the first time that has happened on the journey.