Day 2 of our trip took us from Livingston to Yellowstone, to Cody, Wyo., and finally to Gillette, Wyo. We had planned on being all the way to Gillette by 8 or 9 p.m., but as vacations go, time means nothing.
As we drove into Yellowstone through the North entrance, we plunked down our $25 and headed down the road. We arrived at a little town with a post office, eateries and places to stay. In the middle of a small median in the center of town were two female moose, just relaxing in the grass, paying no never mind to the rest of the world.
Our first stop was Mammoth Hot Springs. A beautiful array of terraces formed from geothermal activity that sends hot water and other things to the surface, which helps create the terraces and all the colors. Also smells like sulfur, which is not so bad in some areas and really bad in others.
We wound our way into the park, stopping to see other geothermic areas and to take pictures of very large bison lounging along side the road. We finally ended up at Old Faithful. It had done its thing about 10 minutes before we showed up, so we got some lunch, then joined about 2,000 others to watch the spectacle. It was very cool. The sports mode on my camera caught it all frame by frame.
We left Yellowstone by the East exit/entrance. From the time we left Old Faithful until we left the park, there were a couple of things to stop and see — like the yellow bellied marmot. I was disappointed that we saw no bears, no big horn sheep and no moose (except for the ladies). Such is life. I really suggest coming in the North, South or the West entrance. The East is quite boring. We did get behind a car from Texas, with a driver who insisted on driving 20 mph in a 45. The driver was nearly one with her steering wheel and looked very frightened.
Yellowstone was the place to be. We saw a lot of other Washington plates to go along with the ones from Oregon, Alaska, Wyoming, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, New Mexico (this was a motorcycle), Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Connecticut, Florida, Wisconsin, Utah, Minnesota, Arizona, California, Texas, New York, South Dakota, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and Idaho. Also visitors from British Columbia and Alberta. As you can see, there was not much else to do while driving from one spot to another.
We left the park and headed to Cody, where we stopped at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. This stop had been on our list of things to do all along, but since we spent so long at Yellowstone, it was nearly 5 p.m. when we got there. It closed at 6 p.m. and the nice lady let us in for free. While I checked out the Buffalo Bill section, Scott and Kyle headed for the gun museum. Boys will be boys.
From Cody, it was 250 miles to Gillette. To get there, we had to go through Greybull, Sheridan and Buffalo. Out of Greybull, we were on a very windy road (Hwy 14) all the way to Dayton. It was slow going through the Big Horn National Forest. We stopped and saw Shell Falls, which also had a hummingbird tree, which was very entertaining. Dayton is home to the Crazy Woman Saloon and $2.77 gas. If gas is that cheap there — which is beyond the middle of nowhere — we are getting ripped off at home. We saw very little traffic from Greybull to Dayton. This is not a major hub. Dayton does have a very nice (looks brand new) high school — Tongue River High School (home of the Eagles) — for a town of 678.
Just down the road in Ranchester (pop. less than Dayton), gas also was $2.77.
From Sheridan to Gillette is 99 miles. We saw maybe a dozen cars coming the opposite direction, and passed a couple of semis. We are definitely in the land of “in bed by dark and up with first light.”Tuesday, we are off to Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, a trip through Needles Hwy, the Presidential Wax Museum and mini golf at Holy Terror. We will end up in Mitchell, S.D.