Sissy checking out the narration for Hot Lake
This is how John remembered Yellowstone National Park before the fire devastation: trees, wild flowers and beautiful mountain roads
A huge boulder looking like it wanted to come crashing down - Buffalo Bill Dam area
At the Buffalo Bill Dam there were a series of 2 large and 2 small tunnels cutting through the mountain
A wind/snow fence high atop Powder River Pass (elevation 9,660 feet)
After 3 full days and nights in Grizzly Park - West Yellowstone, it was time to head out. We´d seen just about everything we wanted to and were anxious to get on the road again heading east toward Sturgis, South Dakota. Our plans were to drive through the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park for the 4th time using our National Park Pass (remember, we saved about $100 in entry fees) and exit the East Entrance. This time we added the Fishing Bridge (which was closed to fishing) and the northern part of Yellowstone Lake where thermals vented along the shoreline. There were rough roads exiting the east entrance, but the scenery was beautiful; trees, wild flowers and no fire damage. That was what John remembered about Yellowstone from his previous visit to the park in the 60´s.
This trip took us through some high plains and the basin area before reaching Buffalo Bill Dam and Reservoir. We stopped for pics along the way and had an extended stop at the dam to observed cliffs, mountains and the reservoir. John also spotted some birds flying along the cliffs across the water and paused to watch them dive down the through the rocks and soar up using thermals. They were too far away for pics, but at least we have the memories.
Next, it was eastward to Cody, Wyoming and the famous Buffalo Bill Museum. People had told us to make sure we visited the museum, but when we finally arrived neither of us had the desire. You guessed it! We drove right past the place ... oh well, maybe next trip.
Greybull, Wyoming was next for fuel and a propane tank refill (we´d used the heater in the trailer allot while in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and West Yellowstone. Not bad though, we´d only filled one tank one other time (Denver, Colorado) on this trip, so this made the 2nd tank of propane. We drove south along Bighorn River then hung a left at Worland. Then, it was east again through Ten Sleep and Ten Sleep Canyon (very beautiful places.) The colors in the mountains reminded us of the Painted Desert.
It was getting late in the day when we reached the Bighorn National Forest and Powder Pass (elevation 9,660 feet) so we checked out a couple National Forest Service campgrounds. Dirt roads, small sites and plenty of people were in them so we decided to keep heading eastbound. These campgrounds would´ve probably worked if we´d arrived earlier in the day and were able to pick the best spot, but those had already been taken. Besides, some campers had fires burning despite the signs indicating "No Campfires!" Did we really want to be asleep when the forest fire began? We didn´t think so.
Buffalo, Wyoming it was! There were several campgrounds in Buffalo and we settled on the Deer Park Campground just outside of town. It wasn´t a place to write home about, but it worked for the night. We met Bill & Carol from Cody who were on their way to Mount Rushmore the following day to meet relatives. They´d recently dropped off their grandson (they raised since age 12) at college, and they were experiencing emotions of both joy and sadness. They knew he´d be in good hands however, because the college had a ratio of 3.5 girls to 1 guy. Who wouldn´t be happy about that ... Sissy?
Friday morning we got up late to break camp and head to Mount Rushmore and Sturgis, but that didn´t matter because they weren´t that far away (about 150 miles.) There´s not much else to say about this portion of our trip, so check out the next one.
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