We spent Friday in Yellowstone National Park. Perhaps it was the recent Ken Burns' series on National Parks but I had this urge to spend some time exploring the park. Clear sunny skies prevailed over an unseasonably warm, autumn day. I was hoping to spot wildlife. This is where our lucky streak started running hot. Check out this guy on the side of the road. Nice rack, right?
Or how about this wolf? He crossed the road right in front of us and immediately pounced on a small creature, maybe a chipmunk or something. We got a close up glimpse of the circle of life I guess.
I was fascinated by the thermal pools. The water in many of them is crystal clear and you can see down into the deep abyss. Other pools were muddy, bubbling, sulfuric messes. The geysers were spectacular too.
One of the most spectacular places in the park is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. I'd never been to this part of the park before and the scenery is stunning.
Part of the grand loop was closed due to road construction. This means that we had to double back through the park to get out. It takes a deceiving amount of time to see the sights in the park, partially because of the 45 mile per hour speed limit.
As we were making our way out of the park, I ended up getting stuck behind an elderly gentlemen driving an old Land Rover. I'm not sure if was the man's age or limitations of his vehicle but he was averaging 30-35 mph the whole way. The roads in parts of Yellowstone are narrow, curving passes (read: no passing lanes or clear views to pass for long stretches). I wanted to get back to the cabin in time for sunset so I was getting really frustrated that this guy was impeding my progress.
I finally had the opportunity to pass him and wanted to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, a park ranger passed me and clocked me going a wee bit over the speed limit. I saw him flip around and knew I'd been caught. I've never been pulled over for speeding before. I wondered if tickets cost more in national parks. The cop approached my car and I started apologizing profusely. Apparently, I'd been doing 58 in a 45. Doh!
I told him that I knew that I was speeding and explained that I'd been stuck behind the old guy for miles. He laughed and thanked me for my honesty. He took my license, registration, and proof of insurance back to his vehicle.
I don't know if he can tell that I've never had a speeding ticket or been pulled over before. Or maybe he'd been stuck behind the old guy earlier in the day. But, either way, he came back to my car, handed me my stuff and told me to slow down. Pretty lucky, don't you think?