Posted by: George | July 10, 2010


July 9, 2010 (evening)

It was cold again last night. I thought it would be warmer here, at Madison Junction, since I dropped in elevation from 8,500 to 6,800. I had three layers of clothes on again, and I couldn’t leave my hands outside the sleeping bag. Tonight, I am going to put my down bag inside my light weight bag and hope that keeps me warm.

Today was the first day I didn’t feel like I had to do something or be somewhere. I took my time fixing a fire, making coffee, then breakfast.

Once I was ready, I headed toward Tower Falls. This is the famous falls that is on the cover of every book about Yellowstone. My plan, if it could be called a plan, was not to go to Tower Falls; it was to head in the direction of Tower Falls and then see what happens.

I drove more than I thought I would, maybe about 70 or 80 miles, a big loop from Madison to Tower Falls, to Fishing Bridge, to Old Faithful, and back to Madison.

I took a picture of day-trippers taking a picture of elk. Then I hiked the Crescent Lake trail and saw one lone bison at a distance. For me, this was the highlight of the day, even though, as I continued to drive, I saw several hundred bison in a meadow (from my car) and even saw a couple of bison in the parking lot of the Lake Resort Hotel (from my car). There is some kind of added dimension to seeing wildlife in their environment.

I didn’t go to see Old Faithful. I saw it on an earlier trip, and it was the only thing in Yellowstone that every disappointed me. This might be the fault of my sixth grade teacher—Mr. Glascoe. He told the class about a park ranger in Yellowstone who found the steering wheel from an old car and then planted it in the ground next to Old Faithful. Just as Old Faithful was about to spurt, the park ranger turned the steering wheel like he was opening a water valve. Mr. Glascoe says he was fired for this.

When I went to see Old Faithful in 1993, I saw a sign that said, “Next estimated eruption: 30 mintues.” I waited and waited. It was 38 minutes before Old Faithful erupted. Old Faithful is not all that faithful, and Mr. Glascoe’s story, which may very well be the only thing I remember from that entire year, was a fabrication.

I did, however, visit the General Store at Old Faithful Junction. I bought an ice cream cone, ate it on the porch, and then went on my way without waiting for the next eruption.

On the way back to Madison, I stopped to fly fish at the Nez Pence creek. As I was walking in, I talked to a guy walking out. He caught five small Browns. I tried for a few hours but caught nothing. I have not fished much in about ten years. When we moved to Little Rock, the movers lost my waders, the reel to my six weight rod, and my tackle box with about 400 flies in it.

With Donna being sick and me starting a new job, I just couldn’t find time to buy new equipment. Now, I feel like I am starting over. I can’t cast very well. I have forgotten most of what I learned, except maybe how to say patient and relaxed when things aren’t going well. When you are a novice or rusty, the fly line gets tangled in knots and the fly gets hooked in trees. This is why some guys break seven hundred dollar fly rods on a tree stump (not that I ever had a rod that expensive).

Bison on a Trail



  1. Your blogs brought back fond memories of our trip to yellowstone! and we also saw lots of wildlife.


  2. At 6,800 ft., it’s like being half way up Mt. Rainier.

    That bison was looking at you, too. I wonder what he was thinking?


  3. 400 flies. Ouch.

    Sarah and I were at Wal*Mart, looking at rods for her and I told her that fly fishing was the only type of fishing that I thought was interesting. (I’ve been boat fishing and shoreline fishing before–my god. the boredom! the sheer agony!) But fly fishing. Now that’s something different.

    Freecycle might have waders that someone is trying to get rid of. You never know.


    • I used to tie my own. So, once I was in a groove, I would knock off 20 or 30 of that pattern. I wanted to start tying some flies before I left, but I didn’t have time to get back into it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: