Small piece of the petrified wood found while hiking—leaning up against the Native American vase in the shrine above
Yellowstone National Park
We had band-aids, but her blisters were too large. She spent the
first day soaking her feet in the cool waters of the stream. On the second
day, with the help of a stick, she was able to hobble around camp.
I also had a couple of blisters, but they were small enough to
protect with band-aids. On the second day, I managed to hike up to
where we were supposed to camp and found the campground full of trout
fishermen. When I returned, Carin was in a better mood. She was
sunning herself by the stream. Fortunately, the weather was
accommodating– warm and sunny.
The next day she was healing fast, but still wasn’t ready to hike.
She encouraged me to explore the area. I hiked up to Bliss Pass. The
trail was 8 kilometers long and steep. At the low point in the
mountain peaks, I still had daylight in front of me, so I decided to
keep climbing. I was trying to gauge how far I could go and still get
back by dark. When I reached a large rock outcropping with a gorgeous
view of the valley, I gave myself a half hour to enjoy the solitude.
On the way down I followed a dry steam bed. It ended abruptly at a
ridge—a waterfall ridge. When I headed in a different direction, I
came upon what looked like a large log, but it was not a wooden log,
it was stone. I dug away at the large petrified log and found it to be
completely in tact. I took a couple of small cracked pieces, and then
started down the mountain once again. This time I actually tripped
over another piece of petrified wood. It was a tree stump. It was a
very exciting find. When I examined the stump, a large chunk fell off
the main part. I lifted the beautiful piece of petrified wood–10 to
15 pounds– up to the light. I decided to take it with me (I did not know
back then that it was illegal to remove pieces of Mother Nature from the park).
When I made it back to the campsite, just before dark, I found Carin
sitting at the fire. She had already eaten dinner, and had left some
macaroni and cheese in the pan for me. She was not excited about my
rock. When I told her I wanted to keep it, she even got mad.
Apparently, she thought I was going to carry her pack when it came
time to hike out. When I told her I would carry her pack and the stone
too, she relaxed a bit. We spent the next day hanging around the
campfire. When we did leave, I got most of her stuff in my backpack.
Our food was pretty much gone, so that freed up space. I carried my
piece of petrified wood in my arms. For me, it was a long 11.2
kilometers back to the car.