DAY ONE - Saturday, October 19

A SNOWY GREETING

Iíve been in Bozeman a few days and the big news is that I just picked up my brand new car! Itís a Subaru Outback Touring model, with a heated steering wheel, a moon roof and gorgeous leather seats. And I love the color Ė a warm chocolate brown.

In honor of a horse I once owned, I have named her Arrow, but I can already tell I will secretly call her my chocolate bunny.

Laurie flew in yesterday and we had a nice dinner last night. We are driving to the Park separately but for once we are leaving at the same time, so that will be a treat for me. We set off a little after 1PM. Itís a very pleasant 52 degrees.

The pass is clear and dry, as is Paradise Valley but we both know snow is on its way.

And, sure enough, it starts around Tom Miner basin. At first itís just flurries, but it soon becomes thicker. At the gate we see elk & pronghorn through the falling flakes. The sky looks socked in, promising snow all the way through to the east. Iím glad we didnít leave any later!

Driving gets a bit tricky at times through the Blacktail, and after Tower, it approaches white-out level. We see Dale & Fayeís car at Boulder so we stop to chat a bit. They tell us they had wolves earlier but then lost all visibility.

From Little America to Silver Gate the blizzard increases. The saving grace is, of course, that there is barely any traffic. Still, Laurie & I stay in touch through our radios. I appreciate her calm way in this sort of situation. We get home safely around 5.

As we are unloading, a car pulls in with four people in it. They are a family who met Laurie recently. They have picked this moment to chat with her, oblivious of our need to unload and settle in (!).

They are very nice people but none of them seems to sense they are overstaying their welcome. I make a phone call to Rick to discuss the interview he gave about his book. I tell him I think he came off really well.

Laurie needs to eat so she finally pulls out a frozen pizza, and the people still donít make a move to end their visit. They basically invite themselves to share it with us. There really isnít enough but they gobble it down.

And all this time the snow continues to fall.

Itís after 8:30 when they finally decide to leave.

Laurie & I debate what to do about getting out in the AM. There really isnít enough snow to justify calling Mike, so we are just going to have to wing it. I figure if Laurieís Subaru can do it, so can mine.

Today I saw: bison, an eagle, elk, pronghorn, and the spirits of Allison and Richard.

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