1988 was a dry year in the West. Fires broke out on both sides of the Rockies. None was more dramatic than those in Yellowstone. The National Park was torched by the union of small conflagrations that merged into a ravaging fireball. Management took a course of inaction under the direction of President George Bush.
"Let nature take its course."
A third of the park was cinderized before the Bush administration understood the seriousness of the infernos. Wikpedia reported that the fires ended up as beneficial, however when Ms Carolina and I drove through the park in the Spring of 1994, huge swathes of the volcanic plateau were charred from horizon to horizon. Ashes clogged the streams. Burnt bones laid as humps on the river banks. The fire had been a disaster.
Simple and pure.
Not matter how the GOP played it against the wall.
Ms Carolina and I were happy either way. The torched trees allowed motorists unrestricted vistas. Bison cruised the road. Elk patrolled the meadows. Some sections of the park were untouched by flames. We hiked along a river. I was following tracks.
Ms. Carolina asked what I was doing.
I told her.
"You idiot." She rarely had a bad word for me. "Those are bear tracks."
"Yeah." I knew that.
"It's spring. Bears are hungry. How fast can you run?"
"A little fast." My best time at the 440 had been 55 seconds. A little better than 15 MPH.
"A little fast ain't good enough." Ms Carolina had been reared in New Jersey. Her accent was 100% southern. She scanned the riverbanks. "They run 30 MPH."
"So what are you telling me?" I needed help.
"That we return as quietly as possible to the car."
She had a good heart and a smart mind.
It was too bad that she was married, but we can't have everything. Only what we have for the moment and I thank the stars for the time.