In the dying sunlight, we pass many geological features, vast white fields smoking ominously and dotted with the long dead remains of plants and trees that tried to grow there. The smell of sulfur is in the air, a reminder that this is a volcano, and even in the most benign green fields steam rises off the brooks. While not as colorful as Utah, there is life and water here amongst the dull granite and pale stones of this region. It’s familiarity to the New England mountains adds to the eerie quality of the drive, up steep inclines and along massive cracks that hide rivers and waterfalls far below, out of sight in the spreading darkness.
For the most part, we pause only for buffalo – a small herd in a field, getting ready for the night, then another herd blocking traffic as they cross the road. A final lone buffalo wandering among jagged rocks walks by so close to the car you could almost reach out and pat him.
Trixie for her part, barked her head off at these giant beasts, protecting us. The buffalo looked in the car with one great brown eye, and moves along as we try to hush Trixie up – and we drive along as well.