Pelican Creek, Yellowstone Park
After saying good-bye to Denny, I started hiking the trails north of
the camping area. In the beginning, I had a good idea where I was
going, but I got lost. I ended up on Pelican Creek instead of on the
Stringent Creek Trail. It wasn’t a major problem except for the fact
that I didn’t know where I was. The hike was longer also. I never did
find a camping sight. When I came to a boarded up ranger cabin, after
walking nine miles, I decided to camp there. I didn’t feel guilty; the
trail signs were the worst I had ever experienced.
With mountains at my back and the creek meandering some ten miles down
the “Serengeti plane” in front of me, I began to hear the bugling
sounds of the bull elk. It was rutting season for the bulls. Their
bugling sounded like a trumpet; maybe even a Viking horn would be a
closer match. It was really something. I hoped the elk would come
close enough for me to see them.
The elk broke the ice for me; before he started sounding off I had
been feeling pretty paranoid. The terrain I hiked through was full of
neck high, golden grasses. Something you might expect along the
Serengeti planes of Africa, but not here in Yellowstone. This time of
year the bears were down in the valleys eating berries, getting ready
for the hard Yellowstone winter. It was understandable that I should
be a little frightened, but until I heard the elk, I was a lot frightened.
As I am writing this, I can hear more elk, two or three by the sounds
of it. They are somewhere behind me, and father to my left. There is a
small valley in front of me, leading to the larger Serengeti. There is
a good chance, if the elk are making there way down to Pelican Creek,
that I will get a chance to see them, maybe even get a picture if it
stays light long enough. That’s another good thing about this place,
it’s ten after seven and the sun has another thirty minutes before it
I haven’t seen anybody since Denny and I split up, except for right
now. I’m about to meet this guy walking towards me.