August 24th, 2010

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Yellowstone Con Report

We safely returned home from Yellowstone on Saturday night. I think everyone who went had an awesome time. I know I sure did! I figured out that this was my 5th time to the park. I initially went there in 1981 with my aunt. I then returned in 1986 with my geology class. I passed through a year later on my way to my first "real" job in Oregon and then once again in 1992 as I headed to Chicago from Yakima. I had not been back since and a lot had changed!

I jokingly called this whole trip a "con" since everyone who went was a furry. In actuality it turned out to be a lot like a con. There was "programming" which was in the form of seeing all of the features of the park. There was lots of hanging out with friends. Meals were the central point of much of the get-together. There was even fursuiting and drama! I'll write more about that in a later post.

As I mentioned in a post from the cabin, the "cabin" was actually a 3-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house with a fully-loaded kitchen, 2 refrigerators, a laundry room, and a gas grill. The living room was huge. There was also a closet filled with old-time board games and puzzles. It was 5 miles to the west of West Yellowstone, so it was quite remote. quentincoyote saw a mama bear and cub run across the highway when he went for a walk one evening. It was a quick 5 minute walk to the South Fork of the Madison River.

The daily routine was quickly established. Someone was an early bird and got coffee going. That usually woke someone else up and breakfast was started. Soon everyone was up doing their normal morning rituals. Breakfast was a big affair with bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes, etc. After that everyone made a sandwich for lunch. If we were lucky we were all out the door between 9 and 10. Like a con, the "registration line" to get into the park was usually a nightmare. Once we were in the park we had to contend with idiots who liked to stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of elk or buffalo even though there was usually a nice big turnout a few yards away. There was also road construction which set us back many minutes every day.

The reward, however, was spectacular scenery and the awesome spectacle of raw nature. The hot springs and geysers were things of beauty. The vast meadows were green and lush. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone would challenge the pallet of any painter. Sure, the crowds sometimes got to be unbearable, but you just had to grin and bear it. Was that enough bear puns? I want to post some pics, but it is so hard picking out the best ones. Give me a few days to edit down the list.

The routine continued with a picnic lunch at some picnic area. Then there was more sightseeing until around 5 or 6. We would then make our way out of the park, usually stopping for the same herd of elk that would always be in the same spot. By the time we made it back to the cabin it was just before sunset. I would grill up steak, burgers, hot dogs, etc. There was always roasted zucchini from the ABQ garden along with a fresh cucumber salad that Kitty had whipped up. It was then time to just sit back, have a few drinks, and enjoy each others' company. Maybe there would be a board game. Maybe there would be a VHS movie like "The Terminator, "Ghostbusters," or "The Matrix." I just liked to sit out on the patio in my kigurumi and look at the stars. You don't get too many opportunities to enjoy the Milky Way when you live in the city.

I'll write something a little more detailed soon. Like I said, I'm still trying to digest the whole trip and edit it down to a few posts. Stay tuned!