Return to Reality?

So here I am thirty-six hours after returning from the wilderness where for the most part I had no internet access or information on what was going on in the world for the last two weeks.  And to be totally honest I can’t detect any change in the status quo.

Sure, Joe Biden’s approval rating has sunk three or four more points.  The economy has continued to sink into stagflation.  And the progressive cabal is still doing everything it can to destroy what’s left of the American people.  But headlines from two weeks ago look more or less the same as today’s.

What did change was that I had a chance to relax and think a little about the state of the world.  And I even had a chance to talk to different people about what they thought was going on.  And what I heard reinforced what I’ve been thinking.  Basically, the elites have the rest of us by the throat.  The mask is off.  We and they are not “us.”  They’re calling the shots and unless we want to lick their boots (and even if we do) they’re going to do whatever they can to make us disappear.

I heard the code words and talking points from both sides.  Listening to the conversations among the members of the managerial class on vacation with their families and among the deplorables was edifying.  Even out there in the middle of nowhere with grizzly bears and bison as your closest neighbors, people talk about the 2020 election and the 2022 elections and the January 6th Charade and the economy.  And it couldn’t be more polarized.  The so-called Republicans who hate Trump are searching for a way to get rid of Biden without facing up to the reality that Donald Trump will still be there in 2024.

The reality that I see is we’re just going to have to grind this out.  Any talk of bipartisanship is a ploy.  I read an article from Bret Stephens, a Never-Trumper, in which he tries to apologize for calling Trump voters “moral ignoramuses” but can’t quite do it.  After all they still want to vote for Trump now after the unforgiveable sin of January 6th.  Stephens’ point is that Republicans can’t really want closed borders, safe streets and fair elections because then Trump wins and that is beyond the pale.  From my point of view there is no meeting these people in the middle.  Whether they are progressives or establishment Republicans there is no middle.  It’s capitulation or war.  So, it’s war.

And I’m totally alright with that.  They are going to pull out all the stops.  There will be BLM riots and Antifa intimidation.  The administrative state and the Biden executive orders will make our lives a living hell.  But that’s nothing new.  And the sum total of all this misery is crystallizing the opinion in more and more people of every stripe that the Democrats and their allies are destroying this country in order to satisfy their agenda.

Green energy and the New World Order’s war with Russia are making middle class life impossible for everyone but the members of the elite.  And their war on the police has turned the cities into death traps.  This is the perfect time to see if the elections are completely rigged.  If the Democrats win the mid-terms in this environment, then what the dissident right says about not being able to vote our way out of this mess is verifiably true.  But if there is a landslide that crashes the Democrats in both Houses then that seems like a very hopeful sign to me.

It’s only four months away.  Seems like something worth waiting around to see.  So apparently camping out in the middle of nowhere isn’t really shutting out the world.  It’s more like proving that a microcosm reflects the macrocosm.  People are who they are.  Whether they’re waiting to see a grizzly bear chew on a bison carcass or tweeting about Trump.  They show their true colors.  That’s reality.

Yellowstone Expedition – Post 5

Now that I’m back I can start gathering my thoughts and describe various natural history facets of my trek.  But I think I’ll start with the adventure that is flying back and forth to this crazy corner of Wyoming (with just little slivers of Montana and Idaho added because of rounding errors on the map.

On the trip out the most memorable event was the taxi ride to the airport.  Instead of picking me up at 4:30 as they recommended, I got a call at 3 am stating the driver was outside waiting for me.  Luckily, I was up and packed but what I wasn’t ready for was my driver.  She was very old, very obese and she wanted to tell me her story.

She volunteered that she had had a driving accident a year ago and this was her first ride since recovering.  She also told me that at night she couldn’t see the road because of the lights of the oncoming drivers.  And to demonstrate the truth of this statement she several times wandered onto the rumble strip when there was oncoming traffic.  Then she told me about her drug dealer neighbor and her abusive bosses who want her to drive faster.  And finally, she told me about her cancer.  When we finally pulled up to the airport, I gave her a good tip and fled her cab like my life depended on it.

The rest of the outgoing journey was uneventful.  But on the way home things got interesting.  From Bozeman to Denver everything went smoothly.  I even managed to have a very nice Reuben sandwich plate in Denver.  And when I was ensconced in my window seat with no one in the middle seat I thought my flight home would be relaxing and comfortable.  Ah, foolish me.  As our departure time approached a thunder storm engulfed the airport and stowing baggage had to be postponed until the lightning subsided.  When the plane was ready to take off twenty minutes later, we were behind six planes on the tarmac.  By the time we took off we were thirty-five minutes behind schedule.

It turned out the row behind me in the back of the plane was occupied by a single father and his two sons, Mal and Max.  I’d guess their ages as four and six.  The six-year-old, Max, was sitting behind me and he early demonstrated that kicking the back of my seat with both feet was something he needed to do.  His father begged him endlessly to stop kicking it but the boy responded by going into hysterics.  Finally, I told the father to switch seats with his son so the son could kick the back of the empty seat next to me.  This worked but it couldn’t prevent me from having to listen to the endless screeching from both boys demanding that they be allowed to leave the plane.  Somewhere over Kansas or Missouri I contemplated how I could help them fulfill this wish.  But eventually I rejected the idea and spent the rest of the flight contemplating which of my earlier crimes was being atoned for by my proximity to these howling lunatics.

As we travelled along our flight path, we were constantly surrounded by a line of thunderstorms that buffeted the plane.  Somewhere in the Midwest we took a detour to escape these storms and this caused our arrival time to slip further.  And finally, before landing the captain came on the radio to inform us that the long runway was unavailable to us so we would be making a screeching halt on the short runway.  And he wasn’t kidding.  The plane hit the ground and skittered around the runway like a jitterbug.  Inevitably the terror twins behind me were inspired to even louder ululations of outrage at their imminent demise.  But as we bounced to a stop, I smiled knowing it would all soon be over.  How wrong I was.

The captain came on the intercom again and in a jovial manner explained that we had been given a different gate but that there already was a plane at that gate and we would have to wait about twenty minutes to use it.  This twenty-minute delay and the time it took for the rest of the passengers to exit the plane in front of us sparked a performance from Mal and Max that can only be equated with some passages from Dante’s Inferno.  I’m surprised none of the stewardesses administered a tranquillizer dart from across the cabin but toward the end I would have welcomed a bullet in my direction just to distract me.  Finally, as the moment approached, I turned around and told the father of the M & M boys to leave ahead of me.  He thanked me and I assured him no thanks were necessary.  I left the plane last.  I wanted as much space between me and those whirling dervishes as I could arrange.  The last I saw the two of them were attempting to push their poor bedeviled father down an escalator.

So here I was at 12:30 am, about an hour after my scheduled arrival.  I gathered up my luggage and headed for the taxi stand.  By some miracle the taxi was still there and the driver wasn’t the poor pathetic woman who had driven me out.  She had made it seem that she was the only driver on the night shift and I was dreading the suicide run she was fully capable of providing.  Instead, it was a younger guy who drove with considerable skill and speed and I was home in record time.  I gave him an even handsomer tip and was greeted by Camera Girl with marked warmth even considering the fact that I badly needed a shower.

So, there is my tale of woe.  Now that I’ve recovered from the trip it almost seems silly to let things like these bother me.  But at the time I had dark thoughts about the way the universe was being organized.  In the next post I’ll limit myself to a photo exposition of Yellowstone natural history.

2022 Yellowstone Expedition – Post 1

So I’ve been here in Wyoming for almost a week and it has been amazing.  I’ve seen wolves, bison, grizzlies, cinnamon black bears, pelicans and other beasties.  We’ve visited the thermal effects, climbed the mountains, visited the lakes and rivers and made an excursion to the Tetons for a couple of days.

I’ll have photos for weeks but I’ll start off with one that I quite like.


Crunch Time for photog

With Monday fast approaching I’m falling behind on my preparations.  I’ve got to make a checklist and check it twice and find out what I don’t have and what I can fit in my luggage for the great trek to Yellowstone.  Based on the information I’ve gleaned from the Kevin Costner television show. What I’ll need is a horse, several guns, a homicidal sidekick, a federal law enforcement elected office, a highly dysfunctional family and a one hundred-thousand-acre cattle ranch.  With these assets I’ll be able to correctly experience Yellowstone.

But really, I’ve got a bunch of things I have to do in the next couple of days.  Stuff that won’t get done for a week and a half like cutting the grass and adjusting the pH on the pool.  And I’ve got to pack my photo equipment and clothes and stuff.  I’ve got to take out a life insurance policy with a double indemnity clause that covers being eaten by a grizzly bear.

Because of all this activity I expect posting will be reduced.  And for the length of the trip, July 11th through the 20th, I expect I’ll barely be able to get online.  I hope to load up some photos from the trip but even that may be difficult and intermittent.  So, bear with me for the present.  And when I return, I’ll be a real American hero like Teddy Roosevelt or Kevin Costner and I’ll dispense two-fisted justice to any dog faced pony soldier who stands against the big sky country philosophy that will saturate me after my return.