Travel journal USA, Canada & Alaska 2004

by Claudia and PJ Potgieser



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March 11 we arrive in the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park.
The famous Druid Peak Pack has been chased out of the valley and only the shy Slough Creek pack is visible. For us to far away.
We try to find our own wildlife and drive through the forest area towards the north entrance. On one of our drives we find a couple of coyotes and lots of ravens. Rick McIntyre tells us that an elk has been killed by wolves and is lying in the river. We canít see the carcass, but the next day we see the two wolves who did it. They are from the so called Ghost pack and donít wear radio collars! We try to make pictures of the wolves, but we can only leave the truck on the road and are sent away by a ranger. This needs action: PJ leaves me at the spot with the camera gear and starts driving up and down. Every ten minutes he waves at me. I am standing in a snow storm and the wolves are keeping an eye on me. On of them crosses the river and starts eating from the carcass. Wow, I am the only person who sees this, how special. 
The next day the carcass is dragged away by the rangers. There goes our special moment. When the weather forecast predicts wind gusts of 70 miles an hour, the temperature will feel like 4 degrees F, 100 % change of snow, freezing rain and discouragement of driving. We decide to leave.
We spent some weeks in the Death Valley, California. Where the temperature is great and the desert blooming. Very special. We try to find as many hot springs as possible One hot spring is even more beautiful than the other. With snow capped mountains surrounding us we enjoy the hot natural springs in California, Nevada and Idaho. When we find a hot waterfall where we can shower, we are having the best of times. 
In the meantime my sister surprises us and the family by telling us that her partner of 22 years has asked her to marry her. I am asked to be her maid of honour, so this means we are going back to the Netherlands for a month. Our first day is a sad one, because we are just in time for PJís grandpaís funeral. Another sad day is when we have to go the funeral of our neighbour. She became only 52 years old. Only a month in the Netherlands and we have to go to one wedding and two funerals!
But the wedding day is a happy one. The four weeks fly by, and now we are back in the States and on our way to Yellowstone again. 

In the meantime we have made plans: we have decided to ship our truck and camper to South America (Chile) !!!!!!!!!!!!! We will do that at the end of the summer from Miami. We hope we can travel with our friends Guido and Brenda there. This means no Fish Creek for us this year.