Our second, and last, rest day. I pick up a rental car for my memory-lane visit of Yellowstone Park, where I worked for three college summers. Others have opted to take an all-day tour bus around the park.
Immediately I am assaulted with the desolation, devastation, and renewal of the 1988 wild fire. The destruction is incredible -- nearly one million acres of burned timber. Amazingly, historic structures such as the Old Faithful complex, which was surrounded by the firestorm, were saved. Looking along the hills, the burned lodgepole pine forests are tall charred sticks, reminding me of the texture and sparse pattern of hair on a Vietnamese pot bellied pig of my acquaintance. Green meadows carpet formerly dense underbrush.
Later as I return to Gardiner, I keep a careful eye on the road going the other direction. It is our route tomorrow, and I try to gauge the difficulty of the hills. There looks to be some long ups and downs.