We left the chaos of Sturgis and headed for the chaos of Yellowstone. Albeit a different sort of chaos… but still a lot of people utilizing a relatively small amount of space. But first we had to cross the state with the lowest population, Wyoming.
Crossing the prairies of Wyoming included a few traffic jams and a lot of wide-open spaces. Then we hit the mountains, and they were BIG mountains. We pulled off the highway and made a great campsite in the Bighorn National Forest .
We entered Yellowstone to find beautiful scenery and snarled traffic. We encountered three major accidents as passed through and two were fatalities! A roadway worker told us that one per month is typical, not three in a day! But in between traffic jams, we did enjoy the beauty of the nations first National Park. We decided not to catch Old Faithful snoozing, instead of fighting the crowds for a viewing when she awoke in about an hour. We really enjoyed the area called Mammoth Falls, which is made of mineral deposits flowing from the springs, hot pots and ground water. But we were happy to exit the park and get onto the Montana highways. Just outside Yellowstone we passed another geographic milestone and stopped for a photo.
Our first night in Montana was near a town called Pony. We found a hot spring campsite area and set up. The next morning we hiked to a cow pond style hot spring in a grassy field and enjoyed a soak. On the way out we found this curious sign, which reminded us to not always believe everything we read!
Across valleys and through mountains of Montana brought us to a rendezvous with one of the best teachers I have ever worked with! We meet Amy for an early dinner at a yummy steakhouse alongside the highway. It was great to hear about her current successes and I look forward to watching her next steps in life as she pursues her passion.
Then we rolled into a small community outside of Kalispell to stay with some friends of a friend. (REMEMBER, WE LOVE IT WHEN FOLKS INVITE US TO VISIT!!) This offered us a much-needed day of city business including mail, laundry, shopping and a visit to the county dental clinic. Ashley Lake was beautiful when viewed from the deck of their mountain home. Thanks for the connection, Cindy!
Next up, Glacier National Park and the USA/Canada Border!