Sunday, August 3, 2008

A trip to see cousin Trish

We woke up with Emmett at 5:30am Saturday morning and began our trip to Yellowstone. My cousin Trish, her husband Cody, and their two boys, Colton and Brayden were camping with family and friends near Fishing Bridge inside the park. It was really great to see them. I think it has been since their wedding a few years back that we have gotten together. Once Cody got back from fishing, we packed up lunches and kids and went up to Mt. Washburn for a hike. There was a fire that had started a few days ago near Fishing Bridge, but it seemed to be just smoldering when we left for hiking(we were weary of hiking if there was going to be too much smoke). Driving to our hike was fun because of the huge herds of buffalo that were on both sides of the road. Between Danny's truck(trish's friend) and ours stood a huge buffalo. A ranger's truck was on it's way in to "direct traffic" and wound up nudging the buffalo with their vehicle. What a sight to see! We also got to see them stampeding and crossing the river. Pretty cool. (In this picture, Danny's truck is the black truck going around the buffalo. You can see the very front bumper of the ranger's truck.)

It was a gorgeous hike with tons of wildflowers and the hope of big horn sheep at the top. It was a steep grade trail but we made a few stops for Kodak moments and one to eat our lunch. A pair of hikers stopped at our lunch spot and informed us that when they were hiking up that morning, a big black bear was passing thru right where we were eating. Be aware of the bear!! We never saw anything. Bear or sheep. We also never made it to the top. Too much for little legs and adult legs for that matter. You could really see the smoke billowing miles away from the top of our hike. We thought it must be the Gun Barrel fire burning in the canyon on your way into the park. Earlier that morning, we drove right past the Gun Barrel fire. The winds had shifted and it was headed back towards the highway. Luke insures a few ranches in danger of the fire and we stopped in to check on one of them. The firefighters had been up most of the night protecting the structures, but nothing had been touched.

Anyway, it turns out it was the fire by Fishing Bridge that had refueled by the winds. The drive back from the hike was pretty eerie. Flames and black smoke directly across the river from us. We were trying to get back quickly just in case they were to close the road. Trish and Cody were hoping that they would not get evacuated from their campground, but the fire was getting huge when we left. We hope they are all alright and enjoying the rest of their vacation. See you at Thanksgiving!

Baby buffalo Wyoming traffic jam

Gun Barrel fire at 8am

Gun Barrel fire at 4pm


Colton and Brayden

Lunch spot

Emmett asleep in pack

YNP fire at 9am

YNP fire at 3pm