On Tuesday, I left for Idaho Falls and Troy's house. It was an easy, 4 hour ride.
On Wednesday, we traveled through West Yellowstone and through the west park entrance. There were four or five lines of cars about an 1/8th of a mile deep. It took us 20 minutes or so just to navigate up to where we would pay our additional government tithing of 25 dollars per motorcycle or 30 dollars per car. I have always been annoyed by the fact that at least 15% of my salary gets hijacked annually by the Federal Government and somehow you'd think that would entitle you to one free park visit of this real estate which you allegedly own. Not so.
At the very least, the fucking mob in Vegas used to buy our drinks and give us free rooms when we gambled. Maybe the mob should run Yellowstone instead of these criminals. We need some crooks with a sense of fair play.
I had forgotten what a zoo the park is. Imagine thousands of shitty drivers, many from foreign lands, driving on the wrong side of the road and slow, brandishing cameras and phones outside the windows of the car, and abruptly slamming on the brakes every time they see a chipmunk. This is Yellowstone.
Holy shit. I think Troy was ready to turn around and go home. He doesn't have the patience for this. Coming in a close second is- yours truly.
The park is still awesome. We skipped Old Faithful and went through the northern part of the park and Mammoth. We pulled into a parking lot on the way there to look at some roadside attraction and while we were walking through the parking lot- a crow had jumped into the bed of a pickup and snatched a sandwich out of someone's cooler. The sandwich was still in the baggie. I was shocked to actually see a sandwich in a baggie- although I have heard of people who use baggies for sandwiches. The crow dropped the goods on the roof of the truck and began pecking at it and trying to tear open the baggie. Some oriental types, with camera phones ever ready, were taking photos of the burglary and seemed very amused.
So we took some pictures there and headed up to the Mammoth area. The town of Mammoth is beautiful and sits just north of the giant Mammoth Hot Springs. There are elk wandering all over town, munching grass in various yards and doing elk things. We saw lots of buffalo and one good sized brown bear. Someone had run over a giant rock chuck in the middle of the road and squashed it- I remember this because I thought it would be pretty hilarious to put a picture of that in the Yellowstone wildlife section of this blog. However, had I attempted to stop and get that picture- there might very well have been two giant squashed bodies laying in the middle of the road.
I am having a difficult time trying to transfer pictures from my phone to this blog so I thought I'd wait to try it when I get home and the tech boss can help me out. (I need to download the app) I will just squash a bunch of photos with captions in here.
I have heard people say Beartooth Pass is awesome and beautiful. Let me say this. Words cannot capture Beartooth Pass. It is without a doubt- the most rugged, savage, hellacious place I have ever been to in the lower 48. It is windswept, rocky, snow drifts and mini glaciers everywhere, and I don't know how many bodies of water dot the mountain sides. The switchbacks have switchbacks on this pass and quite honestly- I got tired of stopping and taking pictures and doing so- is kind of dangerous. Troy said it reminded him of some of the terrain in the movie "Jeremiah Johnson." The pass is right at 11,000 feet. I have been on higher terrain in Colorado but not like this. Temperatures on Beartooth Pass mid-day yesterday had to be in the 40's with windchill. On the low ground near Red Lodge it was 85 degrees.
We spent the night in a campground near Red Lodge, Mt. It rained a little on us because this has become a part of our trips. We teased the shit out of our waitress Barb, at the Red Lodge Cafe. Almost everywhere we go there are "help wanted" signs. Every time I enter a business with that sign posted out front I walk in and announce, "I'm here for the job, when do I start and how much does it pay?"
Tonight we are spending the evening in Great Falls. We had a largely uneventful day blasting through the midsection of Montana. We didn't take any pictures. Tomorrow we are going to attack Glacier National Park and see what happens. We'll get some pictures and hopefully post them on the blog when I get back home on Sunday or Monday.