Sound of Silence

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Posted by Paul ( on 04:08:23 04/21/20

What a strange experience to be alone in Yellowstone, not pass a single car,only see two coming at me, for the trip from Mammoth to Silvergate. A sanctioned permitted trip.

Snow is melting rapidly, The Lamar % soda Butte are running well but still clear water. Coyotes abundant. Buffalo gathered at and around the airport at Gardiner, penned as well as free roaming. Elk are shaggy and most all of the does will have babies. Temperature was 18 degrees and held constant. Cooke city & Silver Gate are closed up tight. Really tight. Street signs, can you believe it, are posted along the highway and at intersections such Slough Creek. Park Jiffy Johns are not only open but remarkably clean for lack of use. Bird migration is on; song sparrows, juncos in great numbers, and Evening Grosbeaks and robins often sighted. Bluebirds were scarce and kestrels were staking out nesting trees. An eagle was part of the congress gathered over the dead deer by the runway at Gardiner.

Gardiner is an interesting sight. New buildings going up all over. The bridge over the Yellowstone is under repair. Outside of town a Sinclair with many pumps is just west of the rodeo park.

A pit stop at Pebble Creek permitted an exposure to total, absolute, unmitigated SILENCE! That was simply awe inspiring and a blessing.

Many trees are down attesting to the storms of January-March that crossed the area. After 57 years of experiencing YNP I got to know and expect to see "old friends" around each curve and on the straightaways. Now, like many of my human friends, they are gone and, like Allison, slowly becoming part of the land.

It remains to be seen what the crowds will be like this summer. Lack of jobs, money, and in some cases attitudes toward foreign visitors will be variables impacting the tourist season. Investors are gambling big time---new multi story rental buildings are under construction on main street and many more up the hill back of the Baptist Church and in the Motel 8 parking lot. It is problematical whether the new rental units will have the service personnel.

Gas prices are lower than last year but higher than Livingston/Bozeman.

What more is to be said? To my friends of "rendezvous" days the old times are passing.

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