Five minutes later, we fell over with laughter when Hollywood showed up.
We haven't figured out so far how this happens. He walks past us in the evening, then we somehow pass him during the day without seeing him.
While we sat and ate our dinner, I had time to look ahead on the map and see how far we were from our first campsite in Yellowstone. I've been bothered since yesterday by how we seemed to have much more time than necessary to get there.
Finally, I figured out where we went wrong. When we sat yesterday in Lava Mountain Lodge, we worked out a plan on a paper napkin, then spent the next four hours trying to set our reservations over the phone. At no time in that ordeal did we realize we failed to include the miles we would walk later that day. We put the schedule together as if we weren't starting until today, not yesterday.
It was an astonishing screw-up but not a crippling one. We'll just need to find a way to slow down for a short mileage day. Then again, we did that in a way today, thanks to my wrong turn.
Top O' and I shrugged off the problem as simply part of long-distance hiking. We'll figure it out.
When we finished with dinner and left to look for a campsite for tonight, we found one that appeared to be promising. Then we discovered it was near a scum-filled pond. It seemed like an ideal spot for mosquitoes to breed, so we kept going to look some more.
The site we found at 7:30 p.m. was reasonably flat. Surprisingly, it was also surrounded by live trees in this otherwise mostly burnt forest. It was a nice place to end a difficult day.