As I was packing up Mac on Saturday in the Teddy Roosevelt National Park, I started thinking perhaps I shouldn't give up such a great spot on a Saturday - finding another somewhere else is much easier on a Sunday, and besides I had all the painting stuff out. So Theo and I walked up and paid for another day… good decision.
As I was walking back to the campsite, one of the other campers asked me excitedly if I'd seen the bison - "No! where?" … and he pointed. A mama and her calf were meandering along the edge of the campground and were almost to my site! I tiptoed over (kept the tent between them and Theo, as a sort of blind) and watched. They munched on grass and I admired. Then I saw some other campers were watching from the road so I motioned for them to come on in my site to see. It was great fun!
Later in the day the whole herd gathered on the hill opposite the campground…so I was able to get my bison fix.
See the little dots of bison on the hill?
One of the people who came over to see the bison was a guy named Gary who is doing a cross country trip in memory of his late wife. He's riding a tandem bike with the back seat empty…He said one of the native Americans he met said that is the "ghost seat."
He went back to his site and I took T for his walk. When I got back Gary came back over and said that he changed his mind and would like to try to do a painting. He said "I've got to remember that I'm not in a hurry and its ok to slow down." Sound familiar!? I laughed. So I got out the canvas postcards and we both started painting. Wish I'd gotten a photo of the one he did - He got some nice bark on his cottonwood trees. Here's one of mine:
And on a little 12 x 12 canvas, I tried sketching one first (sometimes I go straight in with paint, and sometimes I don't… don't have a formula):
…and here's the WIP from it:
So, it was good fun to have a painting buddy for a day, and to get some work going.
It got pretty hot on Friday and Saturday - here's what my thermometer said for Temp/Humidity in Mac with all the doors open and partial shade…
I kept dumping water on Theo… he didn't object as much as usual…
Luckily the campground is heavily shaded - that saved us once the sun got past its peak - here's a shot of the campground from about a mile away, from a turnout on the scenic drive. The campground, appropriately named Cottonwood campground, is in that line of trees...
And here's the sign that was at the turnout:
Oh, and I keep meaning to mention, one day when I stopped at a cafe to sit outside and get some WiFi, I walked up with Theo and put his small bed down and asked him to lie down. I do that in part so he knows where he's supposed to stay, but its also more comfortable for his old bones. There were a couple other customers there when I arrived and watched us. As one of the guys was leaving later, he said "I wish someone would follow me around with my bed all day."
Yep, T's pretty lucky. We're good pals.