|One of many pools in the geyser basin|
After falling asleep at the end of day one, I felt disheartened and frustrated by the set-backs related to my gear failing me. I hoped that a good night's sleep would help me feel better about the fact that I had two more days of hiking without an effective means of filtering my water, and I actually did wake up feeling much better about everything in general.
Day 2: Shoshone Lake (site 8R5 to site 8M1)
Due to the fact that we were forced to boil our water without another solution (other than skipping any sort of filtration), I woke up to one Nalgene bottle of filtered water, and one bottle of noodle water from the previous night. I remember reading in Backpacker (of course) that it's a good idea to drink the carb-rich water from cooking noodles instead of throwing it out, and thought that it would make more sense to use this for drinking water as opposed to boiling a new pot for drinking...
Sound gross??? Well, it was. The first couple of drinks weren't that bad, but by mid-afternoon I was pretty repulsed by it. I knew that we only had a limited amount of fuel for cooking, and that there was no way we would have enough to boil water for the three of us on the 1.5 canisters we had. I thought about it long and hard, and decided that the water in the stream was deep enough and adequately swift to just drink without a high risk of getting sick. Talk about a refreshing drink! Straight from the ice-cold stream. While it would have been nice to have the peace of mind my filter would have given me, I didn't feel concerned about the water I drank; but I knew that within the next 24 hours I would know for sure if this was a wise choice or not.
|Jordan, Geoff, and yours truly from the boardwalk within the geyser basin|
Throughout the hike on the second day we were on the lookout for animal life. Whereas on the first day we made plenty of noise (actually too much, in my opinion) in order to ward off any hiding grizzlies, we decided to not make any noise - realizing that scaring off any potential bears was also scaring off everything and anything else that lives and breathes. We saw our first wolf print in the mud, and were pretty excited. I wasn't paying much attention to the marks in the ground up to this point, but started to pay more attention after Geoff and Jordan pointed the print out to me.
|Wolf? Cougar? We originally thought that this was a wolf track, but now I'm not too sure. What are your thoughts?|
That evening Geoff and I spent an hour or so fishing in the heat, but didn't catch anything. That's the beauty of fly fishing though. I can sit on the bank of a river, casting to the same hole time and time again, and feel completely relaxed even as the sun burns into my skin. It also felt nice to put our 3-day fishing pass to good use, as well as using the extra weight our rods and fishing gear added. If I wouldn't have opened my fly rod case this second day then I wouldn't have noticed the love note my wife slipped into my case! The cool, fresh water may have worked wonders on my beat up body, but this little note did just as much good to my mentality. I worked through several obstacles in my thinking on this second day, and the note only helped that much more.
Although we hoped that the mosquitoes wouldn't find us on this side of the lake, we knew that they would be hunting us down here as well. I decided that the feeling of repellant on my skin, along with two days worth of sweat, wouldn't feel too good when in my bad the second night, and I chose to take a "quick dip" in the stream. I was worried about the freezing water, but soon realized after taking my clothes off that the water was nothing compared to the barrage of mosquitos that decided to use my back (and, uh-hem, back-side) as a landing strip. I tried to beat them away with my clothes, but only had about three or four corpses on my shirt as opposed to the couple dozen bites they gave me. I showed my war-wounds to Geoff when I got back to the tent, and I knew by his laughter that my back looked as bad as it felt. By the way, the water was cold enough to make my legs cramp up for a few seconds after getting back on the bank.
It's hard to describe the difference you can feel when being in the heart of a national park such as Yellowstone as opposed to being with hundreds of other tourists sitting around Old Faithful. Pretty sure that it's for this reason (among many others) that I continue to make plans for such trips. It was only about an hour ago that I added up the miles on the Teton Crest Trail for my next potential trip. I've only been back for a week and I'm already planning next years outing:)
***Really wish I would have taken more photos. I'm regretting not having any photos of the stream we crossed/fished...
Breakfast - Granola and Powdered Milk
Lunch - Mountainland Buffalo Style Chicken Wrap (would NOT recommend it...) and tortillas
Dinner - Ramen Noodles (straight from the package) and Jack Links Beef Nuggets
Snacks - Dehydrated (at home)Yogurt/Apples/Bananas and Snickers