Hello, all! [FYI, Mickey and I are settled with an apartment in Eugene by now, all is well and we’re safe and sound, but we don’t have any internet access at our darling little pad, therefore we are SERIOUSLY behind in blogging! Here’s an attempt to catch you all up and bring us up to the present!]

Just a word on the dangers of wild beasts that we encountered so closely in Yellowstone. Nearly everyone’s aware of the threat grizzlies pose to campers who don’t guard their food, either by locking it in a car, locker, or hoisting it up in a tree, making sure that their pockets are devoid of crumbs and that they snatch every last granola bar out of their camping gear before crawling in their tents for the night. BUT! As hunting is, of course, prohibited in Yellowstone, there is no significant predator aside from the brutal Yellowstone winters to keep its largest mammals’ (ex. bear and buffalo) populations in check. And its bears are growing in population, and as it would seem, succumbing to deviant temptations to stave off their hunger.

This happened only THREE days after Mickey and I left Yellowstone. For those of you who have not yet heard of the unprovoked grizzly attacks at Soda Butte Campground in Montana, just outside of Yellowstone, do read this: Soda Butte Grizzly Attack

And while we were IN Yellowstone, on July 23, a buffalo attacked a tourist and gored her in her thigh. Regrettably, another tourist DID provoke the buffalo in this attack by deliberately approaching it (and, by some accounts, throwing something in its direction?!) Yellowstone’s visitor centers and bathrooms are plastered with fliers brandishing data on the number of buffalo attacks in recent years. Our recurring favorite is this one:

In any case, here’s the story on the unfortunate buffalo attack that occurred while Mickey and I were actually in the park: Buffalo Attack

In essence, anyone who visits Yellowstone National Park is lucky to emerge without any scrapes or holes in them and flesh intact. After all, the park itself is an active volcano which could blow at any moment. Add onto that the opportunity to flash-fry your flesh in the hot springs or geysers, the chance to fling yourself in a dozen different directions via a grizzly’s jaws, or the gamble to resemble a salt-or-pepper shaker after a close encounter with a buffalo. Yellowstone’s rangers and media moguls are quick to remind you that your safety is never guaranteed, not in any moment. But that’s the inevitable and beautiful risk of wilderness trekking. The first peoples who lived on this continent and any of ALL our ancestors lived in wholly natural environments subject to the elements and fraught with inevitable peril, while all the while suffused with a raw and truly awesome beauty from which we, in our light-polluted midnight dwellings, are sheltered. It’s all about following the call of that wolf, or eagle, or broad-headed skink, or opossum, or magpie that dwells inside you, and shaking off your accustomed and cushy shackles, heading mind-first into the thick of it! Imagine, a sky bigger than your mind could ever be, shaking its hips at you, and laughing:

We love you all.

Becca & Mickey

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