The good news? Well, I loved Mammoth Hot Springs. Yellowstone is really amazing to see when there are so few tourists! The trails were almost empty. The mountain pass south of Mammoth was crystalline and wintry but also graced by hot springs, meadows made especially ethereal in the cold air. There was major road construction on the way down to Norris, one of those deals where both lanes wait while a giant crane moves enormous equipment into position – but even then, I made the best of the delay, doing a watercolor sketch of the canyon. Everywhere there were elk and herds of bison grazing against Ken Burns-esque scenic backdrops. And the road was open to Grand Prismatic Spring (although it was snowing and gusting mightily by then, and the cold wind raised so much steam from the hot springs that their fantastic colors were all but invisible). That’s the good news.
The bad news is that my dear Landsnail conked out again, this time on a scenic road (between a rock wall and the Firehole River!) in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, shuddering and choking and flashing lights which suggest her catalytic converter has gone kaput. Tonight (thanks to the assistance of several NPS rangers and Will, the tow truck driver) I was towed out to the West Gate. I was heading there anyways — geesh!
Clearly, the truck is feeling poorly this week. I’m trying hard not to catch whatever virus the truck has caught, but wondering whether I’ll make it to Oregon by Friday after all. Sigh.