Sunday, August 1, 2010

Goodbye Yellowstone... Hello Great Lakes.

Happy Birthday me, since it is midnight in the mid West! I've been getting the Facebook and text message pings for the last hour or more from all of my lovely friends back East. I'm wide awake, with internet connection, and of sharp and active mind... so I decided to report on the current state of affairs. Very currently there is an amazing lightning storm coming our way here in Jamestown, North Dakota. I can see the flashes in the distance from the window, and I'm hoping the pending rains will cool the air enough for me to get some sleep. It is very hot here compared to the 10 cold nights we spent in Yellowstone bundled under sleeping bags and thick blankets. The front air conditioner where I'm sleeping doesn't work and my mom and brother always shut theirs down because it gets too cold in the back bedroom. Such is life in the RV. My mom even said today, "We are going to need a new roll of duct tape soon" while fixing another fallen piece of the 38 foot puzzle we are living in. We all looked at one another and laughed. We have utilized, to capacity, the adhesive powers of the mighty gray-wonder tape to keep this boat a-sailing! Tomorrow we get the vehicles serviced and re-lubed so that we are ready for our return trip through the mighty North of Canada, skirting the north side of the Great Lakes as we trek back to Buffalo.

Yellowstone was fantastic. We swam and paddled crystal clear glacier lakes. We saw tons of wildlife including grizzly bears, black bears, moose, elk, fox, bobcat, deer, hawks, eagles, falcons, bison, and the tiniest little squirrels you ever saw. It is a most splendid piece of this earth and if you have never been, please treat yourself and go check it out. There is a variety of natural phenomena at work and if you are lucky, and up early or late enough to see it without a mass of humans, it is extremely rewarding. We traveled most of the park and saw many of the famous landmarks, but were also able to enjoy some spontaneous finds in Grand Teton and just outside of West Yellowstone in Gallatin National Forest. It felt like we were the delta force of bear watching with my mom constantly urging us to keep a sharp weather eye out for them. She is the best spotter I know though not always accurate. Cries of, "OH Look!!! A Cougar!!!" yielded deer, twice. John got a kick out of the bison we almost ran into in the middle of the road while looking for bears one night. He scared the souls out of my mother and I when he screamed and pointed straight while we were both looking out the side window with a spotlight. There were plenty of things to get our adrenaline pumping.... and it seems his has just dissipated tonight. The boy is finally sleeping. He's been up almost every night with a light on, for fear of bears and Bigfoot and now that he knows we are officially out of bear country (he showed me the map today in his wildlife book), he's out like a light. This is good, because he's been acting more silly than normal with me in the car and he's got my mother a bit ragged from lack of sleep. She's enjoying a peaceful slumber as we speak too.

I feel so blessed to have this wonderful opportunity to travel and seek out great experiences and this trip has been no exception. We live in such a complex and fast paced world today and it is a pleasure, nay, a necessity for us to take time to reconnect with the important things in life; family, nature and love. I've gotten all three on this trip thus far. Here's to you, and me, and all of us.... from the RV, in the middle of nowhere to wherever you live.... that we may all be blessed and realize what wonderful gifts we already have. Thanks for checking in..... Jeremy

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