There are herds of wild buffalo roaming freely in the park. They came to visit in the middle of the night. Nothing like hearing heavy stomping and breathing outside of your tent in the dark to get your pulse going. Our dog, Chloe, was sleeping outside the tent and woke up when I stirred at the sound. Afraid she might run at the as-yet-unseen bisons, I brought her into our car. My wife got in the back seat and as she opened the door to shine her flashlight at the night and see where the beasts might be, the side lights of the car turned on and two feet on the other side a bison was slowly making its way across our campground, quite unsettling I tell you, a huge, yellowish shadow so close to us. It was a bit harder to get back to sleep after that.
The next day we woke up early and hiked away from the actual canyon. The skies are immense here and the land as flat as a desktop, if not for the canyons seen below.
The river beds, usually dry, were very much muddy and our 8 mile hike took a tad longer than expected, especially since it was Chloe’s first time out in the wild.
Since it’s been raining so much lately the desert had bloomed and we were treated to some really funky flowers. Here are a few:
As the sun set, the clouds looked fantastic. We camped in the horse camping area, away from the RVs and other campers, and got lucky to be the only ones there. There was a trough for the horses in the middle of the campground that reflected the sky quite nicely.
At night the stars were amazing. I do not have a good picture of that, but as the sun set and the moon rose, Venus was incredibly bright, brighter than the moon even.
A great weekend, all in all. Although I learned that I’ve lost quite a bit of endurance since our Pacific Crest Trail attempt last year. We also learned that Chloe does well sleeping in the wild (barring Bisons) and takes 8 miles of trail like a champ (that was part of the purpose of that trip) So we’ll definitely do that again, maybe for even longer. Looking at you, New Mexico. 😉