Friday, July 01, 2005

July 1, 2005
Robert Ray, Gus Walker and I went through the CGII book layouts yesterday and marked all the holes. There are about 10 big ones, with about 21 art holes that I’d like to fill. Some will get filled up with other things (photos, cutlines and maps) and I will lose the window of opportunity to create more images. However, the art, photographs and layout is quite possibly the best book we’ve ever done. Bob McCubbin was in town yesterday and he got to take a gander at several spreads, especially the Fly photos spread and he pronounced it as good.

Tombstone researcher Gary McLelland has made a stunning find: "The Lost Streets of Tombstone Newsreels" shot in 1925 and 1929. (Approx. seven minutes. Included is the first Helldorado celebration). Can’t wait to see those. Gary is going to try and bring them to the NOLA and WOLA conventions this month in New Mexico.

I just witnessed a lean and mean coyote walk right by my office window ( 8: 20 A.M.). I waved my arms just to mess with his head. He jumped and ran up the hill. I’m looking for the others. Most coyotes hunt in packs.

Speaking of clever predators, wolves being re-released into Yellowstone is still causing problems to the surrounding ranchers. When Sue Lambert and I visited the museum in Meteetsie, we saw their newest display of two stuffed wolves (big suckers, didn’t realize they got that huge: somewhere between a Saint Bernard and a Shetland Pony) standing over a kill. They intend to put blood and guts all over the ground, and already people have come in the door, took one look at the display and left. There is this PC crowd that thinks wolves and grizzlies have never taken advantage of any human being and that all the reported incidents are myths, created by ranchers and Republicans. Ha.

We saw a ton of buffalo in Yellowstone Park (cars would pull over, sometimes 20 at a time), but no wolves or bears. I read in one of the brochures there are 600 bears in the park. We did see a yellow-bellied marmont/varmint (sp?) on the trail up to Misty Falls. Cute little sucker. Didn’t really know what it was until a professor type came up the trail and ID it. Of course, he could have been totally bluffing (it’s exactly something I would do), so I’m not 100% sure.

Yellowstone gets 2 million visitors a year and most of these are crammed into the warm months. We stayed in a pretty crappy cabin at Lake Lodge (on the banks of Yellowstone Lake) for two nights. Heater didn’t work, tiny windows, paper thin walls with neighbors banging around, virtually no room to move (in fairness it was only $63 a night), but when we cancelled the last night, the desk clerk said, "No problem, the cabin will be rented by this afternoon. We are totally booked solid for the entire summer." Amazing.

I guess the weirdest thing about Yellowstone is the multiple kinds of geysers, some right in the lake itself. It’s all supposedly a by-product of the earth’s molten core (magma?) coming right up to within one mile of the surface, and shooting out the crevices and vents. You can read about the earth’s molten core in school and shine it on as "out of sight, out of mind" but it's a bit unnerving that in this weird area of the continent it's close enough to see with your own eyes. One woman in a wheelchair said it all for me when she shook her head and muttered, "This is too weird." Ha. Yes it is.

"I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks."
—Daniel Boone

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