Lets see here - Thursday we got up in Cody, WY and drove west in to Yellowstone. That days mileage was 165. WE entered the south east entrance, drove west then north to Canyon to look at the falls. A major section of the park road was closed making navigation around what is basically a figure 8 road system (with spurs to the entrances) a ton of back tracking. From Canyon and the falls (awesome by the way) we drove south and along the west thumb of Yellowstone lake to the Old Faithful Inn. We lucked out on getting a room there. All my research told me that it is always booked up to 18months in advance, every night that it is open. Well I called three days out and they had an opening. We took it and boy were we glad. The park road closer alone would have made things much more of drive to get to our hotel the first night. Anywho, the Old Faithful in is incredible, and perfect for hanging out to watch for Old Faithful. That night I took a nearly full moon stroll along the 1/2 mile board walk around and trough the geyser, hot spring pools. It only occurred to me that I was in a wild life park when I was half way through the walk. Later when I spoke at length with a front desk staffer, did I learn about the small heard of Buffalo that were in the immediate area. Yikes. None the less it was completely amazing and then several people including myself sitting in the bench area watching for Old Faithful encountered the heard of Bison about 30 feet behind us in the shadowy darkness grazing. It was defiantly a close encounter. After that I decided to stay inside for the rest of the evening, that and it was midnight.
Friday morning I awoke at 430 ish and could not fall asleep again, so up I was and out to the car for straightening and cleaning. I wrote out some post cards in the lobby and sent them off. Then I tried to stake out a spot on the Old Faithful boardwalk for a pre dawn eruption and photo shoot. Just as I chose my spot it started to go off. I dumped my bag of camera stuff out right there to locate my camera and started to snap off pictures. I did get some but it was still to dark out to capture what my eyes were seeing. This was 6:03am on Friday. Old Faithful is on a 90 +/- 10 minute schedule. I returned at 7:10 and set up for the show. I got it on video and pictures. These are already posted.
This day was also my mother's birthday. I scoped out the best breakfast place in the little village of buildings there and took her to breakfast. We checked out of the Inn and headed north through the geyser basins, got to the north end of that road (where the closer is) and headed back south. We rounded out the same route we took to get the the Inn, back up to Canyon and then started in on new exploration. We drove the northeaster route and then the northern east to west road in to Mammoth Hot Springs. From there we drove north out of the park to a place just west of Bozeman, MT. Total mileage for Friday was 237mi. My mom had a great birthday.
Montana really is Big Sky country. Saturday we slept in and had a leisurely morning that ran into early afternoon. The day of driving started at about 1pm with apx.300 miles of driving, mostly on interstate or divided highways. 112 miles for our motel for the night my mom discovered that she was missing her wallet. Well it was found at the Starbucks 11o miles back where we stooped for grocery rations and snacks. I called them and they said it was there, so in reverse we went. The wallet was retrieved around 730. We then ate at a local favorite. We were back on the road by 830ish with 235+ miles to get to the hotel. Finally at 1230am with a total of 568 miles we are here. I write this only because of the many fans I have come to find that are following us. Thank you all. I guess having driven in to the area in darkness, we are in for a surprise in the AM to see how beautiful it is here.
The scenery out here truly has no words that can give it justice or perspective. Please look at the pictures I have posted to the Picasa site. The link is at www.VA2AK.org. Thanks Jake.