Montanarama and a pinch of Yellowstone

Somewhere in the far away land of British Columbia, Sandeep met a guy from Ennis, Montana. Turns out he's a pretty interesting guy and he offered his house to Sandeep as a stop, so here we are. Now Ennis is a hot fly-fishing town, so its 840 permanent residents see many tourists and visitors coming in for supposedly excellent trout fishing on the Madison River. I've never actually gone fishing, so I feel like this was a slightly wasted gift. Shucks.

Ennis is also a mere 80-ish miles outside of Yellowstone (Sandeep's driven so much! He passed 10000 miles on his trip last week), so we took a day trip down to the park today. This is ultra peak season though, so there was traffic and tons of people and parking was a nightmare. We figured you kind of have to see Old Faithful, so we got that out of the way today. Here's a picture of the crowd around it. We were talking about how for a lot of people, this is probably the highlight of their trip to Yellowstone, which is kind of sad.



Personally, I found the geyser a little boring. The geology of Yellowstone is fascinating, but I think geology is more interesting to learn about than to see. That said, we did take a small lap and saw some really cool hot springs and stuff!





And we were also fortunate enough to witness... the beehive geyser erupting!! It only happens once or twice a day!!!! It was kind of funny though. Before it erupted, people were trying to get as close as possible on the boardwalk, but then they started backing away once they realized they were in the shadow of a 150 foot geyser.




Yellowstone's also known for its wildlife, but we didn't really get to see much of that today. We saw some elk and a bald eagle's nest, but that was pretty much it. We're going back into the park tomorrow and camping for a few nights so there are more chances to come.

BUT we did get to see a forest fire! Sort of. We saw the smoke. A ranger said it was started by a lightning strike over the weekend. I just looked up an article and it said that the fire's up to 500 acres, and they're trying to contain it. But fires are natural and they help to keep the forests of heterogeneous age. There's a great Avatar (Last Airbender) episode about it, haha.



I just passed that awful point in my summer when I realized that I don't have enough time to do all of the things I wanted to do before school starts. I'm getting home on July 27th, and I'm going back to school on August 6th. *sigh*

It's been an awesome summer though.