43 years ago

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 04:17:08 06/27/17

In Reply to: Last Firday night in the Tetons posted by albee


In 1974, we were living in the Seattle suburbs. My parents, and the rest of my siblings, lived along the Colorado Front Range, in the Boulder-Longmont area. My parent's 25th wedding anniversary was in late June, so we decided to have a "family reunion" in Yellowstone. We were camped at Bridge Bay initially, and then, Grant Village, spending almost 2 weeks in the park.

One memorable day, as our car caravan was making its way around the northern Grand Loop, we came upon a large herd of elk, well west of the road in southern Swan Lake Flat. We pulled over, and some of us were busy decorating an anniversary cake we had purchased in Gardiner. Can you imagine a plain white cake having "Happy Anniversary Fran and Frank" being spelled out in Red Hots? We have photographic evidence in the family archives.

Once we completed the "artistic" task, accomplished on the tailgate of a station wagon, we found my mother getting upset about some guy with a camera that was hundreds of yards out in the sage, approaching the elk. Everyone else was staying on the roadside. Suddenly, Mom exclaimed "That's your FATHER". It might be the only time I ever saw a camera in that guy's hands.

Thankfully, even though he had walked quite a distance, he still wasn't within a hundred or two hundred yards of that herd, and they were ignoring him. Had it been September, and one of the infamous Mammoth herd bulls been tending his harem, it might have been a much different story.

Adding to the irony is the fact that my parents only lived an hour away from Rocky Mountain National Park, which had plenty of visible elk to watch, without driving 500 or 600 miles to harass them!

In spite of the errant behavior, my mother stayed with my father, and they celebrated their 69th anniversary yesterday.


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