I'm leaving Saturday morning bright and early to drive to Yellowstone for a backpacking trip. Been planning it since last year. First night I'm staying over in St. George, Utah. It started out when I realized it was only a two day road trip up there. I mentioned it to my son in DC if he was interested and he said yes, but he and his fiance were planning a trip to Egypt. I mentioned it in passing to my daughter that lives in France permanently now and she decided she and her boyfriend were definitely interested in coming. And I invited my new found family in Texas. My full grown grandson and fiance wanted to come.
In February, I put in for the back packing permit and because I wouldn't hear until maybe May and all these folks wanted to come I reserved car camping for the same time in August.
And then the pandemic. So Chelsea and Vincent made reservations to fly into LA and drive up with me. They have French vacations that give them off weeks in a row if they want them. I start looking at my gear and realize that I'm missing half of everything I had. I'd been loaning things out and apparently not getting them back. I had three of everything needed, for me and my two kids that used to go with me. But Chelsea's sleeping bag is gone, I have one of three camping stoves.
I still have three bear kegs, what you put your food in that is critter proof. So I need gear. I need 5 sleeping bags, five backpacks, six bear kegs. It's gonna be an expensive trip. Then the pandemic. France tells Chelsea and Vincent that they are not supposed to leave the country and if they do they will have to spend two weeks in quarantine when they return, so they have to cancel. They got a voucher for their airfare that can be used later maybe next year.
I put together gear and food for the remaining four of us. And then my Grandson and fiance in Texas tell me they can't come, His girlfriend has lost her job and they don't have enough money to pay their rent. The tickets I bought for them are turned into credit vouchers that they can use over the next couple of years, so they could come next year on the same tickets. I told Chelsea in France that if it didn't work this time, that we could try for 2021. I don't know the park, I don't how cool the route is that I've picked for the back pack trip, etc. etc. Next year might be better.
So Chris and I are still going. We talked about virus concerns etc and I don't think it's going to be a big deal. I'm driving up alone in my car with gear, staying in motels along the way and driving back, again with little or no contact. He is flying in and I'm picking him up in Jackson Hole from the airport. There's going to be very little close contact with anyone.
There's probably more danger in those little old ladies in the supermarket that have to feel every tomato or every avocado, before they choose one. I bought a can of bear spray. I've not met the bears of Yellowstone as an adult, and everything I read says they are more mellow than Yosemite bears, but you never know. There was a video I watched about an encounter in Yellowstone between three Yellowstone employees and a mama bear and her cubs. And one of the guys got seriously charged by Mama, but he and his friends didn't retreat. My buddy and I ran into a Mama and her cub at Kings Canyon a couple of years ago, we yelled and retreated. Mama didn't come after us, she ran off with the baby in a different direction.
Anyhow, I'm off Saturday morning. I'll try to give you photos and stuff along the way. See if I have anything to say. The second night I'm stopping in Logan, Utah. My very first marriage was there fifty years ago and we lived together all of ten months and I did my second year of college at Utah State there. Thought I'd look around. You might get some strolling down memory lane. See two blogs entry back: "Journeys of A Different Kind" for a little background.