Last night I hiked the Elephant’s Back Trail which is a two mile trek up a mountain that overlooks Yellowstone Lake once you hit the top. I was with six other people from the Bunk House and we had the most amazing time. Our goal was to capture the essence of a full moon reflecting off the massive body of water that often reminds me of my beloved ocean. It was a somewhat cloudy night so we had to wait a good hour for the coverage to blow by. Lightning could be seen in the distance which helped relieve the anticipated headlining attraction, but I am always thankful for the opening act. When the orb was able to show face, I was blown away by how different, how closer and brighter and fuller the moon looks out here in the lush mountainous forests of Yellowstone National Park. The land is rich with specks of gold shimmering secretively in raging rivers and charred trees still possessing the life to knock when wind gains strength. I pondered all of these elements while gazing upon an unattached fragment of earth (as some believe), and I know without a doubt, that this is what I came here to do. The hike back down was interesting. I kept tripping over rocks and roots, and producing annoyingly loud and stupid sounds to ward off hungry wildlife. The cuddly grizzly bear teaching her cubs in the green meadows that we witnessed on our ride up to the trail did not seem sweet and harmless to me anymore. We were in her territory now with no ranger or car to protect us. Night hiking is one of the most exhilarating experiences I have had thus far.
July 6, 2001