Nature Lover

Cali watches Old Faithful erupt at YellowstoneCali just had her first vacation to Yellowstone. Koala came, too. Neither of them had visited the park before, and they loved seeing all of the wildlife.

A side note — we visited Yellowstone several times with Jana and Wylie, and Deni and I both thought that the restrictions on where dogs can go had gotten more strict since our last visit. We’re unlikely to visit again with a pet (Koala is allowed in more places, as she is a guide dog).

That said, we had a nice time. The girls got to see dozens of elk and bison. We all — not in the park — watched a grizzly stuff his face. (We were a couple hundred yards away in the car, and the bear was in a huge field, surrounded by surprisingly nonplussed cows, so no one was in any danger. )

The humans saw wolves, also at a very safe distance, using the scopes that the wonderful wolf-watchers in Yellowstone generously share with the visiting tourists. On the way back to the cabin, we saw more wolves, visibly from the car. Pups, playing. Cali was fascinated.

In fact, Cali was fascinated by all of it, her favorite nature programs come to life. She sat glued to the window, staring out at the animals, the mountains, the snow. Yes, the snow. She loves snow and was far more delighted than the rest of us with the very early first snow.

She also enjoyed her first geyser show, watching Old Faithful erupt along with an appreciative human crowd.

Koala is a bit more jaded. A dog who has traveled extensively and seen it all, apparently, she looked for a few minutes when we encouraged her to, then curled back up on the seat, with a deep sigh. Longing for her warm Florida home, no doubt. Koala is not a fan of Montana’s cool weather. And that’s as true in August as it is in September or January.

They’re both great travelers, good at letting us know when they need a bio stop, grudgingly accepting when they have to wait in the car for us to eat or shop, and generally easygoing and pleasant company. As I write this, we’re enjoying our last night of vacation in our favorite dog-friendly spot, Chico hot springs. Happy (Jewish) New Year, everyone!

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