As part of my freelance assignment, I'm writing blog entries that will run on the Via magazine website next year around the time the Pacific Flyway birding article comes out . Therefore I can't reveal here in the Notebook blog all the best details of the three-week trip Pamelia and I are on. However, there's still plenty to show and tell.
Yesterday we headed back into Yellowstone despite a snow and rain storm. The touch of winter only made the park more spectacular. We saw many elk, antelope, bison and, yes, even birds to add to our story list. In a cosmic twist, even as the Buffalo Bills were playing the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL game, ravens and buffalo were playing right in front of our car. A raven sat on the hood of the Nissan Altima staring in at us as a herd of bison passed right in front of us.
Despite the cold, blowing rain and snow, we stopped to watch Old Faithful. I was both startled and not surprised (given that we're talking about American tourists) that half the people watching that amazing geyser erupt tturned and walked away (!!!) only a minute into the roughly three-minute spectacle. Hey, they'd gotten their snapshot—why wait around? It was like spectators leaving in the middle of a no-hitter just to beat the traffic home.
We ended up spending the night in Idaho Falls because the weather (40 mph winds, deluge of rain, dark of night) made continuing farther south unsafe. The weather cam for the local TV station is still shaking this morning from the winds, but we'll leave in a few minutes for Utah and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, which sits on the northern tip of the Great Salt Lake. We'll likely see more snow in the day ahead, but maybe it will again make everything more beautiful.