I attended an Oral History Seminar in Thermopolis today put on by the Hot Springs County Museum.
I have all sorts of good things to say about it… but I’m choosing to delay that for a day. I have a better story.
If I have a few extra minutes in Thermop, I’ll do a quick drive through Hot Springs State Park. It was jam packed with people in the hot springs and pools… but I prefer the little drive that may, if you’re lucky, gift you with some great photos of buffalo… bison… ptetanka…
You drive past all the crowds, past the few walkers that view the small pools and ledges and walking bridge. Around and up to the flat where instantly I spot a few buffalo strung out, walking determinedly to their own destination. A single car stops to take a photo. I move up, trying to guess where they may be heading. I like my position, red chugwaters in the background, blue sky… I may get a great shot or two.
Then suddenly, the buffalo take off at a run. I have no clue why… maybe it’s just spring. I quickly decide to take a movie. I turn off my audiobook and my car so no annoying motor noises will be on my video.
Now, before I post this short clip on Facebook with the link to it here… I want to tell you that initially, I expected the buffalo to run in front of my car… remember those chugwaters were going to be a great backdrop? But the leader switched direction and headed to an angle behind me. OK. Fine.
Then about the time the leader hit that red patch of dirt, he was heading for ME. All of a sudden my little Jeep felt like a very itsy bitsy teeny weenie Jeep. My window was rolled down, my motor off. A running one ton buffalo could have been in my lap in two shakes and here I was, sitting there like a Yellowstone tourist.
I fumbled my camera, made to move to punch my starter and missed. Right about then, HE LOOKED AT ME. A split second look of, “You’re an idiot.” Then he was past and the eight other bulls simply followed his lead.
Turn up your sound to hear them breathing hard. I’m going to try tomorrow to do a slow motion version, which will let you see his big floppy forelock and his tongue out!