Enjoying God’s creation close to where we all live

Friday, October 12, 2018
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We made to a trip to Yellowstone Park on Saturday. We were not the only ones there. Over 4 million visitors came in 2017. The YP website recorded 813,970 visits in August this year, averaging about 27,000 a day. It is a good thing it is a big place.

We consider it a blessing and joy to be only an hour’s drive away. This was a great trip because we spotted a granddaddy elk right away. He had huge antlers. (Yes, people, they were antlers — we’ve been over all that.)

This big elk was 20 feet from the old stone church in Mammoth. He was sitting comfortably right off the sidewalk. The traffic on the street did not faze him. We were thrilled to pull into a just-vacated parking spot across the street from him. I turned my car, Gracie, off. This was great.

There was one slight problem. He was facing the church side, not our side. “This is OK,” I said to my mom. “We will wait until he stands up, then get the best pictures ever.”

I poured some coffee from a Stanley Thermos that He-Who and I got as a gift from his parents in 1964. We settled in. He seemed to be dozing. His antlers, a huge rack, would tip a little one way or other.

“How they can hold up those huge antlers amazes me,” said my mom. She and Dad were avid hunters. It was food for us. She knows all about elk. She has made some beautiful lamps with antlers. She knows how heavy they are. “The traffic does not bother him does it?” We finished our coffee. We munched on our snacks. I poured another cup of coffee for me. “He’s got to get up pretty soon,” she said.

He didn’t. We thought he’d get up when a noisy big diesel pickup and horse trailer passed by. He didn’t. We thought he’d get up when a tour bus went by. He didn’t. “Maybe he’s tired. He has been busy you know.” I couldn’t believe she’d say that. We didn’t even say “pregnant” out loud when I was growing up. Women were “pg.”

I turned the car on to put the windows down. Nearly every car that passed by, traffic going both ways, would stop, they’d take a picture out their window and drive on. I told my mom that maybe all those cars, motor homes and buses were asphyxiating him. Maybe he was under the influence. I looked at my watch. We had sat there an hour.

Tourists were parking. A ranger had pulled up soon after we got there to keep them from getting too close. While we were waiting for Bullwinkle to get up, we took pictures of them. “Now it is the principle of the thing,” I said. “We are not leaving now, even if it takes till dark for him to get up. With no cars on that side, only trees and the church, this will be the best photo ever!”

Finally, much later with much stretching, he got up. We got the best photo ever. We were ready to go home. Only we couldn’t. Gracie’s battery was dead. I got my battery cables out and asked the ranger to come help us. We laughed and so did he. I had left the key on when I put the windows down. We thanked him and took off. A few miles down the road regret set in because I missed the best picture ever. It would have been Gracie with Ranger Rick under her hood!

So another adventure. God is so good. We had a great day. Please hear me. Precious memories come from taking time out. See the beauty God has created close to where you are. It will be good for you. Our verse this week is, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” (Psalm 107:1)


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loistimeout@gmail.com or visit her website at www.timeoutwithlois.com.