Posted by: Tommy | August 10, 2010

Daily Haikus

We are now out of Yellowstone and are frantically typing up blog posts at the Bozeman, MT public library.  Not only is there no internet in Yellowstone, but an annoying lack of cell coverage as well.  We did manage to find cell service in the middle of a 3 hour hike at the top of a cliff surrounded by a marmot colony…not exactly convenient.

We did manage to keep up with our daily haiku writing, as we promised ourselves we would at Grand Teton.  Rather than each write one per day, we assigned each day to one person and they were responsible for writing the haiku.

This post is an overview of our time at Yellowstone, in haiku form.  We’ll be bringing more in depth-posts about the week in days to come – while we’re at Glacier, again lacking cell and internet services.

Hiking with my wife; talking loud to scare the bears; Be quiet, honey!

– Tommy 8/2    One of the recommended ways to stay safe from bears is to speak loudly as you hike so you don’t surprise the bear.  Of course, that also means you don’t surprise the moose, otters, foxes or any other animal.  Since my main objective was to see animals and hers was to not die, this was a constant struggle between Anna and I.  We still managed to see a bear (and some deer, otter and pika) on the hike that Anna and I took this day.

Despite her constant singing, Anna and I ran into this bear on our hike.

Frost on the windshield; Icy toes and frozen nose; This is not Dallas.

– Tommy 8/3  The weather in this part of the country is crazy.  Once the sun goes down, the temperature drops dramatically.  You wake up freezing (Anna and I shared one sleeping back for the entire time) and by noon are sweating and wearing shorts and t-shirts with liberal amounts of sunscreen.  We were changing clothes 3-4 times a day.  On this particular day, we woke up at 5 to leave Teton and get a Yellowstone campsite, to find that our windshield was frosted over.

A painter could try; strokes of wild color but bubbles; won’t stay on canvas.

– Anna 8/4 Yellowstone is known for is thermal features, including mudpots, geysers and hot springs.  We visited the West Thumb area of the park, where Anna got the inspiration for this poem.

Beautiful thermal pool

Mudpots smell poopie; Although they look really cool; Glad I did not puke.

– Jack 8/5     Sulfur is the primary smell in many areas of the park.

You can see the sulfur (bright yellow) that has accumulated on the rocks.

The Lamar Valley; Grizzly bears, elk, moose and deer; And people with scopes.

– Tommy 8/6  Friday, August 8th was easily the best wildlife day in the park.  Our list of sightings: 6 grizzlies, 3 mountain goats, several hundred bison, 3 bull moose, 2 big mule deer, 7 big bull elk, and lots of female elk.  Oh, and 1 fox.  Our strategy for finding wildlife was simple – drive around and pull over when we saw someone looking through binoculars or had a scope set up.  Then ask them what they see and, if possible, get them to let us look through their nicer equipment.

Bull moose, in scope.

Lazy afternoon; Cards, beer and time together; sharing a campfire.

– Anna 8/7  We met a couple on a 6 week tour of the entire U.S.  They were students from McGill Univ. in Montreal.  We hiked, ate dinner and shared fires with them most of the days we were in Yellowstone.

Up top Mount Washburn; Rain comes swiftly to pour down; Chipmunk freaks from chase.

– Jack 8/8   On Sunday, the three of us climbed Mt. Washburn, the peak of which is over 10,000 feet.  It took us about 2 hours to get to the top and while we were in the enclosed room at the top, a rain shower came and soaked everyone who was still out on the mountain.  We were inside, scaring a chipmunk to death.

Anna screwed with this chipmunk for 10 minutes.



  1. So glad you’re enjoying Yellowstone. It is really an incredible place to visit. It makes me homesick for the mountains…I need to get an annual fix of them and then I’m good to go on the flat land. You’re so right about the cold nights and hot days…but that’s part of the fun. Stay safe and watch out for moose…never mess with a moose, they are very inpredictible. Happy travels and love the Haikus

  2. I’m laughing my #$$ off! I’m glad you didn’t puke, too! xoxox

  3. Thanks to all three of you for calling me on my birthday in a hail storm. It does a mom’s heart good.

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