Every year, a few friends and friends of friends from college (University of Chicago), and our families meet up some place fun. Last year we went to the beach (Bald Head Island in North Carolina) where I tested a prototype pair of our OESH athletic sandals. They were so great that they ended up being the only shoes I wore. I walked and ran in them along the ocean, on the roads, and on dirt trails, and after washing them up in the ocean, I wore them to the fancy dinners at the country club.
This year, at the request of our daughters, we went to a truly exotic place — Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho; the first national park, which inspired the creation of all other national parks. I knew we’d be walking and hiking (and horseback riding) across some pretty varied terrain and was excited to wear my new La Vidas. I also brought my athletic sandals but ended up, along with all the older daughters in the group, wearing La Vidas the entire time.
They say that only 2% of the people who visit Yellowstone explore the park beyond the roads and designated tourist stops. We were certainly in that 2% that went for long walks and hikes on trails ranging from “beginner” to “advanced, primitive trail.” All our hikes were in addition to morning runs along a dirt / gravelly road outside the park, near our rented house.
In preparation for the trip, we learned about this guy, Truman Everts, who got lost in Yellowstone during an expedition in 1870, and survived, after being separated from his group, for 37 days. As he said in his autobiographical account, his shoes were one of his most valuable items–he once backtracked for 5 hours, while starving, to find his misplaced slipper.
Being much better prepared than poor Truman, we had our awesome La Vidas. We also had a map, camera, compass, and bear spray in hand.
We saw lots of geysers (not to be confused with geezers), hot springs, boiling mud pots, and more wildlife than any of us had ever seen in our lives. We climbed mountains, walked through meadows and along cliffs and canyons on dirt / sandy trails that were often studded with rocks and tree roots. I’m not sure how many miles we covered each day (beyond our morning runs), but my muscles were pretty sore — all over — in that good, healthy, rejuvenating kind of way.
Taking only photos and leaving only OESH footprints, this is what I caught with my camera…
A buffalo. We saw lots of them – alone and in herds. Here’s one displaying what seemed to be their strongest emotion for us — complete apathy.
At the top of a peak.
In front of Old Faithful (not Old Geezer), so named because it faithfully spurts out every 60 to 90 minutes.
Hiking along the top of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Kellyn versus Buffalo: Get Ready…Set……Go!
On top of a hill reached by an unmarked trail that overlooks the Grand Prismatic Spring.
Elk (we saw a lot of them). Those antlers (which they lose and regrow every year) are heavy. I have to think that the interim between losing just one antler and the one on the other side would be biomechanically challenging.
Zoe (our youngest and too small to wear OESH) taking a picture of an elk.
Gracie talking to a Park Ranger, who decidedly has, besides being a cobbler, the most awesome job in the world.
A bear and her baby cub — from a distance!
Elk in the Yellowstone River.
Jayme in the Yellowstone River.
Continental Divide. Yep, elevation 8262 feet…but the OESH clad feet in this picture are the only ones that matter!
Bald Eagle. We saw three of these, all striking the same “Aren’t I Something?” pose.
Taking time on the way up to Bunsen Peak (named after the inventor of the Bunsen Burner), to admire the pretty flowers. The hike up was fairly gentle, going a quarter mile up over a 2.1 mile distance.
And lastly, a traditional “OESH Selfie” (above the Gibbon Falls).
I have to say, those OESH Selfies are my favorite OESH pictures. Please keep taking them and sending them to us, from all the amazing, exotic places you go!