A detour, a good night’s rest, and the rest of Yellowstone

No matter what you read or hear or see in pictures or movies, nothing compares to actually being there. The mountains, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs – all amazing natural beauty. (Picture gallery after text below)
While we were at the Old Faithful visitors center, we found that the direct route to Moran, where our room was reserved, was closed for a bridge repair. The way we would have to go was to retrace part of our route and make a circular path back to the road we needed beyond the bridge. It would only take about an hour longer, we were informed, so, still cheerful, off we went. It was about 7 by then, and we expected at least two more hours of daylight.
It had started raining off and on by then, but the beauty of our surroundings kept our spirits up. We had a lot to talk about, sharing stories from our adult lives, lessons learned, spiritual experiences, just everything. I was very happy I wasn’t driving, and that we were in a four wheel drive truck, because when the sun went down and it was still raining, the winding roads with wisps of fog made visibility challenging. Marcia was up for it and got us to our destination at about 11 pm. It wasn’t until the next morning that she confessed that she was feeling very challenged!
Our room and our beds at the Hatchet Resort were perfect! I think I slept pretty well, and in the morning we ate at the restaurant there and I got a tall stack of huckleberry pancakes. They were so delicious! I have never had huckleberries before. Marcia says they grow wild and she picks them every summer.
The day was beautiful, and as we headed north we immediately could see the Grand Teton mountain range. What an imposing sight that was. We leisurely wound our way through the mountains and stopped frequently along the way to take pictures and enjoy the views. The pictures tell the story.
Wild Bison
Beautiful Elk
Grand Tetons
Yellowstone Lake
Wilderness beauty
Lewis Falls
Another view of the lake and mountains
Upper falls – Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Lower falls – Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Snow – upper elevation
Glacier Lilies
Volkswagon van camper
This is how to travel!
Mammoth Hot springs
Amazing natural sculpting
Mammoth hot springs
Mammoth hot springs terraces
Sunset Pintler Mountains through bug flecked windshield
We got back to Marcia’s as the sun was setting. It was a wonderful two days.

The best laid plans… and Old Faithful

(Yellowstone adventure, part 1)

Happiness is a choice you make ahead of time.

I read that on a sign at the Summit Restaurant in Ennis, Montana, where Marcia and I found ourselves after her truck broke down on the way to Yellowstone.

I’ll back up a bit. The flight up was uneventful, no running to catch the next plane or anything crazy. It got a little rough coming over the mountains, but I got to see the sun set over the Great Salt Lake. I was warmly greeted in Butte by Marcia and her husband Hank, in spite of the late hour. I had a good night’s sleep in a comfy bed and the next morning, Saturday, Marcia made a wonderful breakfast of eggs and morel mushrooms. What a treat!

 

The plan for the day was to drive down through Yellowstone Park to where Marcia had reserved a room for us near the Tetons. In spite of making reservations three months in advance, there were no rooms available in Yellowstone! We set off before 9:30, intending to arrive at our destination well before dark. We had been on the road about two hours, enjoying the beautiful day and beautiful mountains and catching up on 40 years of life when suddenly the truck started making a noise. We pulled over and peered under the hood, and discovered that there was an oily liquid sprayed all over the engine. Neither one of us knew what was up, so she pulled out her phone to call her husband for advice. Oh dear, no cell phone signal!

We decided it was safe to drive back to the nearest town, which turned out to be Ennis. A nice lady at the gas station directed us to the Napa parts store. By this time, the alternator gauge had come on, and there was a whole lot of noise going on!  The young man inside came out to look at it, and declared it to be the water pump. Right about then all the coolant dumped on the ground!

To make this long story a little shorter, he and his boss fixed it on the spot, and we ate lunch and hung out in the restaurant, where I got a fabulous veggie wrap and fries and a cup of tea. Ennis is a great little town with very friendly people. We were heading to Old Faithful by three, feeling very grateful.

We started seeing steam rising from the ground alongside the road and stopped at one place to get out and look. Very cool. We arrived at Old Faithful in plenty of time to find a good spot for the next show, expected at around 6:30. I truly didn’t know what to expect, and my anticipation built as the steam would increase and then water would bubble up. Finally, it happened, and the energy that I felt as the water shot up into the sky brought tears of joy to my eyes. I completely understood why people from all over the world come to see this amazing phenomenon.

Old Faithful June 6, 2015