Thursday, August 6, 2009

Great American Road Trip: Part 12

It was a wonderful thing to leave that nasty motel and hit the road again this morning. The kids are total troopers and we are all still suffering from a serious lack of sleep. But all things considered, it's going well. We're excited to see Yellowstone National Park today and hoping to have better luck with our accommodations.

9:15 a.m. 66 Degrees, cloudy

Depart Buffalo, WY (thank God!) We head out of town on a 2 lane highway towards snowy mountains. We will be on this highway for 190 miles...I hope we like it! Out the window are ranches and horses.

9:32 a.m.

We spotted a bison grazing on the hill!

10:25 a.m.

We stop at an overlook to take in the incredible 10 Sleep Canyon in Big Horn National Forest. The mountains we just drove through were lush with pine and wildflowers, then we descend
into an incredibly steep and rocky river gorge. Spectacular!

We leave the gorge and enter an almost desert-like environment on the other side with arid plains and striped rocks. It's all scrubby and sagey and if I didn't know better, I'd say we were in New Mexico.

1:13 p.m.

It's getting mountainous again. All the houses out the window are log cabins.

1:47 p.m., 79 degrees, Sun and Clouds

Approaching the gate to Yellowstone

2:15 p.m.

Quick picnic lunch at a small lake. Many of the trees on the way in look like they are dying of disease and/or have been burnt. It's pretty devastating to see.

3:40 p.m.

Quick stop into Fishing Bridge Center for a stamp in our passport and Junior Ranger books (which cost $3!). It's now pouring rain as we head towards the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

We spot some more bison!

3:56 p.m. 55 Degrees, Pouring Rain

We pull into the Mud Volcano Area under heavy fire from rain and lightening. We jump out of the car quickly to take in the sulphurous gasses billowing out of the ground. It is really something to see (and smell). We race back to the car, to avoid being struck by lightening.

4:05 p.m.

We pull into the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and see the gorgeous lower falls. The river is running strong and the falls are thundering over the cliff.

5:27 p.m. Barrel Springs

The water is crystal clear blue and literally boiling hot. The kids in this picture are standing in the sulphurous steam. Stinky...but warm. It's now 49 degrees outside. Brrr.....But at least it's stopped raining!

6:08 p.m. 66 Degrees, Partly Sunny

Welcome to Montana!

We decided to skip Mammoth Hot Springs due to rain and lightening. It was a wise choice as it took us quite awhile to navigate our way out of the park. The kids are itching to swim in the motel's indoor pool, which evidently has a water slide. I'm hoping our room is nicer than last night's.

It is! The kids have fun for an hour or so in the pool, then we head out to dinner and back to our spacious "honeymoon sweet" with KING bed and enough extra beds (and pillows) for everyone.

***the internet connection at this hotel is terrible and so I will have to add more pictures later***


Anonymous said...

When your Dad was going to Optometry school in Alabama, one summer we took a road trip home to the Bay Area. We borrowed a tent, ONE coleman sleeping bag, packed a couple of blankets, an ice chest, and off we went. When we arrived at Yellowstone, it was awesome, and we stayed in a campground there. We had a folding stereo stove.....I talking small here, and your Dad introduced me to canned Spaghetti.......yum! Late afternoon it hailed, and the temperature dropped into the 30's. Keep in mind the one sleeping bag, and blankets.LOL!! I am talking cold. We were awoken at 4:00AM with some camper banging on his trailor hitch.........I started laughing and couldn't stop, good thing, or I would have started crying! Our next stop was Lethbridge, Canada, where my grandfather's house caught fire... and that is an other story!

Trish said...

Wow...welcome to CAnada....however brief your little trip through was. Anonymous....I am from central Alberta at least I grew up in my teens there....small world eh?!