Our expectations of what our time in the park would be like closely resembled a Hollywood dream sequence. 32 work hours per week, divided any way we wanted between two people seemed perfect. Two days on, five days off to play, right!? What could be easier?! We hadn’t factored in COVID and its impact on the park, or having a single vehicle into our plans.
… for now we have dappled sunshine and a soft breeze, and fifty minutes to hike north. The trail is very busy today — we see countless kayaks, canoes, inner-tubes, and paddle boards being dragged up the trail, looking for a good place to put in. Lots of families obviously arrived earlier in the day and have been picnicking lake side. A far cry from the last time we were here in winter gear — was that really just three weeks ago?!?! By the end of the hike it is warm enough that I am ready to jump in too!
Out the window Fred and Rickie have brought their cousins — there is a small herd (100 adults and calves) in the sage brush north of the barns and the flower meadow. Most of them are laying down, so look to be enjoying themselves. The male bluebird is on sentinel duty, perched on the top of the nest box outside the window or observing from the slightly higher vantage point of the nearby snow marker as it sways in the rising wind.
During the night I discover that my height is exactly the same as the distance from the front seat-back to the back hatch door. Headlights from a few late arriving campers shine in the car during the night, and we could have used more padding but overall the night wasn’t too bad. We were very lucky, the forecast low did not verify — we stayed near 40 degrees. As Dave says, “It could have been worse. We could have been trying to sleep sitting in an airplane seat.”
Let’s go to Lamar. We’ll ride through Hayden Valley and see what we see. Along the way, we pick up ready made sandwiches from the vendor in the Canyon area, scope out where the campground is located and resume the trip. The last time we had been in this area was December 2014 — it was novel to see it without five feet of snow. And with people.
22 degrees at 5:15 on a Memorial Weekend morning — are you kidding me?? We stick close to home this time and decide to photograph one of the two Moulton barns that we can see out behind the cabin. Already the space for taking the iconic photo of the barn is colonized by a flock of photographers. Okay, so we find more creative places to wait for the sun to rise.