This was a Wednesday that had a little of everything. It started in the morning with Barry taking a hike on the Natural Bridge Trail. I was too nervous about bears to join him since there were signs all over warning of them, and we didn't have bear spray.
I'm sorry I didn't get to see the natural bridge, but Barry took some great photos. And no, he didn't encounter any bears. Of course. Had I gone, I am sure we would have met a Grizzly right on the trail!
Despite its inferiority complex, it is truly splendid, is it not?
As you can see, the morning weather was absolutely glorious. Just look at this daytime visit by Mr. Moon!
At the marina, Barry encountered a huge bison on his way back from his hike. Thankfully, the park bison are pretty mellow -- especially compared to a grizzly.
The next order of the day was doing laundry at Lake Lodge, which we'd checked out a couple of days prior on our long bike ride. We loaded up the Bike Fridays and rode on over. It was a little chilly (low 60s), so we wore tights and long sleeves. Fortunately it was only a couple mile ride from our campground.
While the clothes were washing, we pedaled over to the nearby general store for a six pack of huckleberry beer (yum!) Barry took it back to Pearl while I tended to the laundry.
On his way back to the campground, Barry encountered more wildlife, including this beautiful bull elk that we originally thought was a moose! Thanks to my western Facebook friends, we got straightened out on that. We'll never mix them up again, promise!
We agreed that he would come meet me back at the lodge at 3 pm to gather up the laundry to take back. We knew that rain was in the forecast for around 4 pm, so we hoped we could make it back before the storms came.
While the clothes were in the dryer, it got very blustery and dark, and a few sprinkles started up. When Barry arrived at the lodge, it was starting to rain in earnest, but we thought we could beat the bulk of the storm back since it was only a couple of miles.
We were wrong. We got wet, and is if that weren't enough, it graupeled on us most of the way back!
What is graupel, you ask? Well, we didn't know either, but we were getting pummeled with tiny snowballs (yes, in August!!!) mixed with a bit of cold rain. A google search convinced me that this "soft hail" we experienced was something called graupel, I guess it doesn't occur often, if at all, back in North Carolina where I am from. It was definitely a surprise to us, and I wish we'd gotten photos, but we were pedaling too fast to get out of the wet and cold to take any. The temperature dropped 24 degrees in the time we were doing laundry, and we were so thankful that we wore what we did, though we could have used even warmer clothing. We were chilled to the bone when we got back to Pearl.
On a positive note, I got to see the beautiful bull elk with my own eyes as we headed back into the campground. And after the storm broke, the sun came back out, and we had gorgeous bison visiting our campsite, so the day ended on a great note after all.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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