Friday, June 25, 2010

Thermolopolis Hot Springs

I woke up early, had a pop-tart and followed and elk trail to my point for over a kilometer. I was so high up in elevation in the mountains that I heard some olive-sided flycatchers. The fallen trees were extremely thick and hard to climb over all day.

I decided to take Ayla to the vet in Thermolopolis after finishing my bird point, she needed her shots to go to Canada. The vet there helped out so much when she was sick over a week earlier. I drove over some of the hottest land in Wyoming, much of it covered in oil wells, and Ayla dealt with the heat with pants and by hanging her head out the window. When I got to the vets office, I was told that he just left on vacation to Alaska. So the dog and I got a campsite nearby with the “largest hot spring in the world” they advertise at the Fountain of Youth Campground. I had visions of getting a lot of work done with my laptop, I had a plug in for it. Ayla and I made a trip down to the river and she swam just offshore for a little while, I had a hold of her leash so she wouldn’t be swept downstream. Then I tied her to a picnic table with a bowl of water while I went swimming in my brown polka dot bikini in the giant pool that felt like a hot tube. She barked in protest from the table, telling me she wanted to swim too. Dog aren’t allowed in a lot of places though, and she pictured the water being cool I’m sure, not hot. I got out and put on my t-shirt and new cut off jean shorts that I made when I couldn’t find a decent place to buy shorts in town.

Being in a social mood, I ended up talking to several people on the phone, then talked to another camper for a while. She had rented one of those “Cruise Across America” RVs and said she was on her way to Meeteetse with her young son, she grew up there. We mostly talked about bears and mountain lions, she was more scared of mountain lions having grown up around the bears. Then I had a beer with another camper, as we built a fire with the free wood I still had from the game warden out north of Cody. This camper is a former marine, and has been working down here with dinosaur bones for a few weeks before he heads back to med school in Montana. He talked about being stationed in Japan as a medic mostly. He had a German Shepard who was scared of my dog as she kept barking, her tail between her legs. It was late, I crawled in my tent instead of my car, because the nights thunder clouds were already broken up and I could see the almost full moon through my tent mesh.

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