Friedman Acceptability Measure: 7
I am beginning to associate whatever song it is Friedman's phone plays as its alarm with pain and suffering. Today we woke at 5:45am in order to have as much time at Yellowstone as possible. We entered from the north, which is an unusual route, up and over an almost 11,000 foot pass. The temperature dropped such that I needed to bust out my UCSC hoodie for the first time (usually I use it as a nap pillow). Our first stop was Mammoth, home of the "Liberty Cap."
This should put to rest any fears that our trip is no longer centered around natural and man-made phalloi. The structure is surrounded by signs that reassure the skeptical that the phenomenon is indeed entirely natural.
Yellowstone is an amazing place, and I'm glad to have finally seen it. The geothermal stuff is cool, if odoriferous. There are nice grasslands, mountains, and waterfalls as well. Perhaps most interestingly, the park also functions as an enormous zoo. The buffalo and elk are everywhere, and there are also bears, coyotes, and lots of friendly rodents to be seen from the air-conditioned comfort of the car. We got stuck for 40 minutes on our way to Old Faithful in a traffic jam involving both automobiles and fauna:
Out of principle, I refrained from photographing Old Faithful's plume, which coincided perfectly with our finishing a delightful lunch at the local Inn.
Exiting Yellowstone to the congested south, we headed for our lodging, the ski chalet of a friend of Professor Ben Friedman's. The son of this friend, Ted, greeted us at the (fantastic) house and held a barbecue for some locals and us. And then, before the sun went down, the house was left to just Mr. Friedman and myself. We cracked open a few PBR's, watched Braveheart, and are preparing for a night of delicious sleep. In a rare moment of weakness, I lost a best-of-three rock-paper-scissors contest, so I get the inferior room. But you gotta roll with the punches.