Yellowstone here I come

When I decided to go away for my annual birthday road trip I mentioned it to my friend Dave and he asked me if he could come along. He had come to Quebec with me 3 years before and since we had both survived that I figured, why not? Since I had been planning to camp in my truck it meant a slight change in plans. I bought a tent so we’d actually have room to sleep. The plan was to leave early and drive to Yellowstone National Park, find a camping spot and spend 4 or 5 days there. It was a beautiful sunny day as we left around 6 am. As we approached Lethbridge the battery light on my truck came on and I made for the nearest garage. I have to say that I’ve never been convinced that Canadian Tire could do a good job on auto servicing despite the name. But, even though it was Sunday and my choices were very limited, I was very impressed with the staff and the fairly quick repair time replacing my alternator. Sadly though, the delay, coupled with the emergency pit stop I needed to deal with my Fatburger lunch put us about 4 hours behind schedule. As we approached Bozeman, Montana it was getting pretty dark and the highway was lined with deer and antelope so a nice warm hotel room was in the cards as neither of us fancied setting up a new tent in the dark.

After our complimentary breakfast (which was pretty good) we started heading for Yellowstone. We didn’t get very far when we spotted an bunch of old building near the train tracks so we stopped to take some pictures. DSC02871 DSC02872 DSC02875 DSC02880 Bozman DSC02896DSC02918 DSC02920 DSC02932 DSC02935 DSC02943 DSC02950 DSC02953

I’m not sure what all used to be there. It’s not all abandoned as there were people coming and going out one of the doors opposite the tracks, but I really liked the look of the building and especially all the glass. We spent almost an hour there before we hit the road again. It wasn’t very far to Livingston where we turned south and followed the Yellowstone River towards the park. We saw a big herd of Elk just hanging out in a field.

DSC02958 They were not at all concerned that we were stopped taking their photo.

Next stop was Gardiner where we checked out the information centre and looked at the Roosevelt Arch. DSC02987DSC02971 DSC02982

So with that we had arrived at the north entrance to Yellowstone. Heading south we were soon in Wyoming and then at the Mammoth Hot Springs. When we got there the rangers were out keeping, well, trying to keep the tourist out of the way of the big bull elk chasing some cows around. It was pretty entertaining watching people trying to get out of the way as he ran around.

DSC02998 DSC03006 DSC03009 DSC03028 DSC03049 DSC03070DSC03055 DSC03066  DSC03075

Since the road to the Madison campground was closed and we had to take the Grand Loop Road scenic route there we headed out before there was any elk porn to shoot. Normally it isn’t all that far from Mammoth to Madison but with the road closed for another 2 days it was quite a drive to go a few miles. Since I’d never been to the park I certainly didn’t mind at all.

DSC03082 I got this fellow along the road and Dave had a couple on his side of the road that were even closer. We only made one more stop along the way which I think was Beryl Spring.

DSC03093 It was pretty impressive how many hot springs and steam vents that we saw in just our first day. Yellowstone was an impressive place so far.

We finally pulled into the Madison Campground and there was space for us so we booked for 2 nights to see if we liked it as we could always stay longer if we wanted.

DSC03095 DSC03096 Our home away from home for what turned out to be 4 nights. 4 very cold and wet nights at that.  It wasn’t raining but it had been and by the time we got set up it was time to eat. Since it was chilly and wet we decided to go into West Yellowstone for supper.

DSC03104 Along the way I spied this fellow fly fishing and really liked the river with the burnt timber in the background so we stopped. I don’t think he knew we were there as he never turned far enough to see us. It was getting dark so we headed into town to find some food.  We found the Three Bear Restaurant along main street and decided to check it out. Was a good decision as we returned there for more meals then we’d planned on.

When we were leaving the restaurant it was dark and raining so there wasn’t much to do but head back to camp and go to bed. We sat in the truck for about 10 minutes waiting for the downpour to slacken, but it wasn’t happening so we ran into the tent and tried to keep warm and dry. I slept pretty good, but it was a cold night.

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