~Friday, September 11, 2020~
O.k. I debated whether to even post this or not but had to share because it’s pretty hilarious. So while we were packing up to leave the Inn at the Gallatin, because we were already in a hurry to leave, I placed our dirty Yeti coffee mugs somewhere in the trailer so they wouldn’t rattle around on our travels. That somewhere was the empty already lined garbage bin. I thought, surely I’ll remember to remove them before we add anything to the trash. In hindsight, what I should have done is to not have lined the garbage bin which meant I would have seen the cups as I later put one in. But no. As the garbage piled up over them, it became a forgotten artifact until the next morning when I went to reach for my coffee mug for my daily brew and saw only 1 of 3 cups in the cupboard. In complete disbelief, I knew there was no way to retrieve them out of a bear proof garbage can where Jeff disposed of it the night before, though he did try. Damage control….son Shane to the rescue. Where he works, they sell everything Yeti so 2 replacements are on their way.
I can’t believe we’re headed back to the world’s largest hydrothermal system...Yellowstone. Under normal circumstances, you might plan a year to get to a destination like this. But the funny thing is with this trip, it’s just like, “hey, why don’t we go over for a day or two and see Yellowstone!”. It’s great that we can be so spontaneous with when and where we want to go. Love it!! The weather couldn’t have been better. Really clear skies and the upper 70’s. Since we are staying in West Yellowstone which is the outside sliver of Montana, we entered from there and headed South into Wyoming through the Lower, Midway and Upper Geyser Basins stopping occasionally for bison sightings, until we reached Old Faithful.
We are pretty surprised to see this many tourists, though it’s far less than the last time we were here 10 years ago. When we arrived at the granddaddy of all the geysers in the park, Old Faithful, we only had to wait about 30 minutes for its spectacular, steamy eruption. They always predict the eruptions to occur about every hour, give or take 10 minutes. The only disappointment was due to COVID all of the major buildings were closed….i.e. The Canyon Lodge (one of our favorite spots), the Old Faithful Visitor Center (renovated back in 2010), and a number of restaurants and stores. Such a shame that this disease has such a ripple effect.
As it was getting toward dusk (the best time to observe wildlife in the park), we wanted to get to our destination of Hayden Valley. This is a primo spot for seeing wildlife, especially wolves, where many photo enthusiasts quietly set up shop and simply observe. Along the way, we came upon a photo at another Continental Divide spot at 8,391 feet, then came upon an elderly bison that was slowly headed our way
and within minutes strolled right in front of our truck, looked both ways (I am dead serious), and crossed the road. Sadie was going crazy (windows rolled up in the truck so not to disturb the old man). Just us and one other tourist were fortunate to see this. Though Hayden Valley is beautiful, there was no success in spotting any wildlife. So with the light fading, we headed home to make a late dinner (thanks to Marie Calendars) and rest our heads. Tomorrow...back to Yellowstone, but this time, north.