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Published: August 27th 2015
…the morning after a night of train whistles…three times. It was cold this morning and smelled like a giant campfire. We’re heading northwest from Casper, Wyoming…might as well make it interesting and cut through Yellowstone. Plugged our plan into Rosie and got underway.
Wyoming is full of tumbling tumbleweeds. Tumbling tumbleweeds look nice when they’re tumbling across the prairie…but not so nice when they tumble and SMACK into the side of your truck.
From the direction we were approaching Yellowstone National Park, we’d have to go through Grand Teton National Park. We have our America the Beautiful Pass, let’s go! When we approached the entrance I saw one line was actually dedicated to pass holders. This was the first time we came across that. We zipped over to the far right lane (we were only one lane to the left, but it sounded good), flashed our pass (another first, we’ve always had to show ID with it) and entered the park.
Grand Teton National Park is really small and takes you to the south entrance to Yellowstone. As we were driving through we kept a lookout for wildlifes. We essentially struck out on our drive through the Black
Mike picked up a hitchhiker.
Hills, we were hoping for better today. Sadly, the only thing we saw were crows and small birds.
Before we knew it we were entering Yellowstone National Park. This time Mike did have to show his driver license. I guess it’s good that they check, just in case someone is less than honest…treat it like a credit card, right? Anyway, we knew we were just passing through the park and going from the south entrance to West Yellowstone into Montana so we didn’t focus on seeing all the famous tourist spots. When we were here in 2007 with the kids (again, after a visit to Colorado) we did a longer drive through by entering from the east and going north around Lake Yellowstone. We drove around to Old Faithful and the paint pots and walked around on one of the boardwalks. Today Yellowstone was a means to an end. That’s not to say we didn’t take in the scenery. I did have Mike stop a couple times so I could take pictures.
We had better luck with wildlifes sightings…slightly…one buffalo…waaayy off in the grass and trees…far enough away that he looks like a big, brown blob in the
middle of the picture. We also saw a squirrel…but that doesn’t count…but at least it wasn’t yet another bird. The squirrel came scampering out of the brush near the side of the road. He reached the edge and thought better of attempting to cross. He ran back into the woods instead. It was almost like the scene in Finding Nemo where the little fish are daring each other to ”touch the butt.” I could just see his little squirrel friends daring him to run out and touch the road and see how long he could stay there before he chickened out. I wonder if he won the respect of his furry woodland creature friends. A few miles later we had another wildlifes sighting…elk…three of them. They were on a grassy chunk of land in the middle of the river. It appeared to be a mom and a couple older babies. The two younger elk were laying down and the older one was grazing.
We left Yellowstone behind, driving to our last WalMart parking lot. With the nights cooler, having air conditioning is no longer a necessity. Our choices for WalMarts were limited…to one…in a 50 mile radius
of Bozeman. It had really easy access to the freeway and could have passed for an RV park. There were at least 20 campers, trailers, fifth wheels and motorhomes in the parking lot. We made our usual run through the store for the few items we needed. Instead of a Subway that may or may not be open at the posted time, this store had a McDonald’s. Mike grabbed something for dinner from Mickey D’s while I opted for real food—a salad from Wally’s deli section. We ate in the trailer and as the day was winding down for us we began to hear a constant thump, thump, thump. It sounded like one of our neighbors was testing the sound system in their rig…or it could have been some teenagers showing off the new car stereo. The thing was, it didn’t stop. All through dinner it thumped. While we were trying to relax it thumped. As we got ready for bed it thumped. While Mike was doing his crossword puzzles it thumped. While I was trying to read it thumped. I don’t think it was a teenager or a fellow traveler. It sounded like a nightclub. It would have been
slightly more bearable if it thump, thump, thumped in time with the tick, tick, tick of the battery operated clock in the bedroom. They were just enough off to make me focus on how long it would take until they thump/ticked at the same time and how long it would last before they were out of thump/tick sync again.
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