Baby Buffalo on the way to Mammoth
When I began my road trip, I was under the impression that I would be sharing a house with two of the other interns. A few days into the drive out, I received word that the house had fallen through and I would be staying in a dorm for the summer. Obviously this is disappointing - I am 25 (26 in June) and haven't lived in a dorm in years. The rooms are small and crowded, with four people to a room. I haven't met my roommates yet, and I hope they will be respectful and quiet, as I will need to be at work at 7 AM for 10 hour days. I asked around in Gardiner about renting an apartment or house, but apparently there is little in the way of affordable housing in Gardiner.
After checking out the dorm, we did a couple of short hikes in the Mammoth area. First we hiked part of the Howard Eaton Trail, which starts in the woods and then traverses the side of a mountain. This section of the trail offered open views of Bunsen Peak (named after the creator of the bunsen burner) and the mountains surrounding Mammoth. We didn't hike the whole trail, because we wanted to do another short hike before leaving for Bozeman in the afternoon.
View from the Howard Eaton Trail
Howard Eaton Trail
Howard Eaton Trail
After hiking the Howard Eaton Trail, we hiked part of the Lava Creek Trail, just off the windy road between Mammoth and Gardiner. The trail, surrounded by shrub brush, descended into a creek alongside a river. We walked about a mile out and decided to turn around and head back to Mammoth to move my stuff into the room. Just as we turned around, we saw a large rattlesnake next to the trail. We saw another rattlesnake about a minute into our walk back to the car. As we neared the beginning of the trail, we saw a third rattlesnake, a lot bigger than the other two we had seen. I had never seen a rattlesnake before, and it was kind of scary that there were so many along the trail!
The beginning of the Lava Creek Trail
Lava Creek Trail
A rattlesnake along the trail
After moving in, we headed to Bozeman, about an hour North. The drive out there was amazing - there were beautiful views the entire way. When we got to Bozeman, we went straight to Wal-Mart, where I got a prepaid phone for the summer. I currently have a prepaid ATT phone, but that doesn't work anywhere in the park. The only phone carrier that works here is Verizon, so I got a Net-10 phone, which roams on Verizon and is really cheap to use. I needed a new phone anyways... I will have a new phone number as soon as I activate it, so ask me if you need it!
My Dad flies out of Bozeman tomorrow at 7 AM, and I will be very sad to see him go. I had a great time with him these past few weeks, and am so glad he was able to make the trip out here with me! I just hope he has had as much fun these past weeks as I have!
I think I will hang out in Bozeman tomorrow after I drop my Dad off at the airport. I would like to explore the city a little and definitely want to check out the Museum of the Rockies.
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