Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Clear & sunny. Warm actually. On the road by about 7am. Today was planned to mostly be a driving day. Heading for Longmont to see Suzanne. It’s about 1,200 miles from here. The plan was to stay overnight at the Beauty Creek campground in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest. Our reference book said “boating, fishing, etc”. False advertising. It was not far from the lake but hardly a convenient walk. Stopped, had lunch then kept on driving. We finally stopped about 3pm at the 10,000 Silver Dollar Bar & Casino near Haugan, MT on I-90. Not much to look at but we were very tired. The price was right. “Free” and that included electricity. Had a great dinner. I had a beef patty with mashed potatoes smothered in onion gravy. Carol had chicken fried steak. Good stick-to-your-ribs cooking. There is a dirt parking lot behind the bar/casino/restaurant where RV’s can park. There are seven other RV’s here. I spoke to our neighbor. He & his wife live in their motorhome full time. He used to own a gas station and drive a semi for a living. While he was on the road, his wife ran the station. They stop here at least twice a year. Interesting place. Interesting people.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Clear & sunny once again. Enjoyed our night in the back parking lot of the 1,000 Silver Dollar Bar. When we left there were eight RV’s of different types there. Headed out towards Yellowstone National Park. Spent the night at a Gallatin National Forest campground off Hwy 191 south of Bozeman, MT. Red Cliff. Very nice place. Our site is well wooded and backs to the Gallatin River. Met a man about my age who is riding his bike from Canon City, CO to meet a friend in Bozeman, MT. Quite a ride. I doubt there is 10 flat miles on that entire trip.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 8-10
At Yellowstone National Park. Stopped at West Yellowstone, the West entrance to the park, on the way here. The Visitors Center had a free wi-fi connection. I found a really close place to park and we had internet access from the camper. Got caught up on the Blog, e-mail, etc. It was a cool & rainy day. Dodged raindrops as we poked around the town until late morning then drove into the Park. On the drive through the park to our campground we saw an eagle on a nest, dozens of buffalo grazing in the fields along the Yellowstone River and two young elk crossing the river. And that was within about 30 minutes. Stopped at a number of the spring & geyser viewing areas. We stayed at the Bridge Bay Campground on Thursday night. There is a resident bison/buffalo. He wanders all through the campground just grazing, napping and so on. Both bison & buffalo are correct. Zoologists use bison but buffalo is the more common term. On Friday we drove to the Old Faithful area. Carol & I took a great hike past dozens of geysers, mudpots, hot springs and fumaroles(a steam vent). We saw Old Faithful erupt twice and Castle Geyser once. Got lucky on Castle Geyser since it only erupts once a day. The colors of the water pools & streams covers the spectrum. Just amazing to see. We hope the dozens of photos we too do the colors justice. After Old Faithful we drove to the Firehole Lake area. Another area of concentrated hydrothermal features. The weather is nice & sunny until late afternoon then the thunderstorms start. It hailed on us during today’s afternoon storm. The low tonight is supposed to be about 40*. On Friday we moved to the Canyon Village campground; much nicer then Bridge Bay which wasn’t much more than a grass parking lot. The resident buffalo and elk did make it worth one lights stay. $9.15/night. That’s tough to beat although the Forest Service campgrounds generally cost us $6/night. The cheapest was the parking lot behind the 1,000 silver dollar bar. Free. So far this trip, we have not stayed at any private campgrounds.
SATURDAY: rainy & cold. The campground has a great laundry facility so we made the morning laundry time. After the laundry we drove the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone road. Stopped at all the view points and took some great walks to the falls on the Yellowstone River. It’s 2:30 pm right now and the rain has started again. We’re parked at Artist Point on the south rim of the Yellowstone Canyon.