Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thoughts on Good Ole Yellowstone

Partly because we felt compelled to visit such a super-American
destination an partly because the Great Road led us there, we spent
much of wednesday cavorting around Yellowstone. Buyer beware! August
in Yellowstone can look like the LIE at rush hour!

The approach to the western entrance was a bit disheartening. Having
just departed the amazingly beautiful Idaho countryside (with a
lengthy stop with Dava and her dog Stella at rhe Hend's Lake nature
preserve--thanks!) it was a bit jarring to see the shopping outlets,
tourist traps, and IMAX movie theaters that lines the road through
West Yellowstone. And then, we sat in traffic at the West Entrance
waiting to pay the $20 per bike entrance fee, and then again in
traffic at the first set of cascades past Madison Junction, and then
again in traffic as both lanes of travel gawked at a buffalo who was
sunning himself a few paces from the road. After lunch at Canyon
Village, we knew we had to get outta there.

We decided to forego our original plans to camp at Fishing Bridge and
instead forged ahead out of the park.

Yellowstone, gotta hand it to ya, you redeemed yourself on the road
out of the park to the Eastern Entrance. As we passed hurds of
buffalo, the terrain got more and more mountainous until we found
ourselves in a valley that could only be described as magical. Mix in
the hairpin curves and the slight drizzle, not to mention the oddly
beautiful wildfire smoke in the distance, and we just about fell back
in love with Yellowstone.

But we forged on anyway, trying to escape the crowds, and fell into a
lovely Forest Service campgroud about 15 miles from the East Entrance
called Newton Creek. Just about the most picturesque spot you've ever
seen, and nice and quiet! We claimed a spot, drove east a ways toward
Cody for some supplies, and cooked up a nice dinner of polish sausages
and Doritos, with some local Wyoming brew to wash it down.

A great day. Photos to follow shortly.

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