Friday, January 15, 2010
This is rather one of my favorite photographs. I was traveling through southern Utah, from a miserable winter at the Grand Canyon to my second summer working in Yellowstone. This would be my first season working in accounting, the department that would claim me for the next 16 years, and while I was unhappy to be assigned to Old Faithful Lodge instead of returning to Lake Hotel (damn you, Jay Antil!), I was more than glad to leave the South Rim.
I had no money for motels, but I did have a brand new sleeping bag, so when I got sleepy and noticed a Forest Service campground, I pulled in. I figured that since I didn't plan on setting up my tent, the "Campground Closed" sign didn't really apply to me. I threw the bag down on the ground, went to sleep, and woke up under 4" of freshly fallen snow. A little uncomfortable, since some of it had melted and seeped into the bag, but the clouds had already broken and the morning light was absolutely beautiful.
When I got going, I drove downhill for half an hour before encountering a sign that read "Elevation 7000." No wonder it was cold and the campground still closed! I'd had no idea I had climbed so high in the dark.