Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I’m back. I’ve got a confession to make. I haven’t been home mowing the lawn like my like my last little sketch suggested. Instead we’ve been in Yellowstone National Park. During the ‘shoulder’ season it is possible to rent a little cabin at greatly reduced rates. When we first started doing this we felt as though we almost had the park to ourselves. As the years have gone by, more and more people are discovering early wildlife watching. Mostly it is hardy people who come. You have to be prepared for snow, closed roads, and bad weather days. Only one half of one campground is open when we arrive and most of the park roads are still closed.
One of the joys of coming this early is that many of the same people / friends come year after year. We’re not the only ones hooked on Yellowstone.
April 11 2011
We’re finally on our way. Our plan was to leave two days ago, but the threat of a government shutdown loomed … and loomed. Finally at 8:30 PM the eve of our departure it appeared an agreement would be reached, and the national parks would stay open. If the government had gone into shutdown mode only essential government agencies would stay open … and the parks are not one of them.
The next morning, Saturday, we had the car 95% packed when we both admitted we were just plain worn out. The weather for going over the Rocky Mountains didn’t look very encouraging either. So we took a deep breath and stayed home for a couple more days.
Meanwhile I’ve been working on my Yellowstone ‘mojo’, i.e. I started a great grey owl on the first page of my new journal, Volume 38. It’ll be a good drawing to noodle on during quiet times.
Sometimes I think we must be a little tetched in the head to leave Oregon at this time of year. The swallows and osprey have just come back. The turkeys are strutting. Grass is lush green, trees starting to leaf out, fruit trees are in full bloom, and bright yellow patches of Yellow mustard fill the fields. I’m savoring the greens. By going to Yellowstone we are about to step back into winter. This is painted while Dale is driving north on Interstate 5.
Another 'car sketch,' i.e. painted while Dale is driving. I always look forward to the many miles we drive alongside the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon.