Lee’s Gone and I Did Very Little

A couple of times a year as we travel Lee gets an opportunity to work a side gig and this time it was down in San Antonio. Sometimes it can be difficult to arrange it with existing employers, but in this case the owners of the Camera store were very understanding and worked out a schedule where his shifts were covered. It’s nice for both of us to get this kind of break, although usually we are someplace where I have family or friends around. This time it would be just Jack and I and I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with the time. I’m jumping ahead though, because right before Lee Left we took a drive out to Rainbow Point to see if we could see some moose.

There is a tendency for people to focus on Yellowstone itself, but the surrounding areas do provide opportunities for animal sightings. We even have a map which shows what kind of animals have been seen where and since a moose with antlers is at the top of my list we took a drive one evening.

Here’s the map I was working from wasn’t great but got us to the general area

Turns out there were tons of forest roads in this area and some beautiful views. We didn’t see any moose unfortunately but we did see a beautiful eagle.

There is also a pretty nice National Forest campground out on the point and at $28 for an electric site is a steal in this area. They are pretty wooded and remote but less than 10 minutes or so from the Yellowstone entrance. If you are ever looking for a cheap alternative for this area I would recommend it. Beautiful dock Day Use area.

The next day I took Lee to the Yellowstone Airport which is the smallest I personally have ever seen. So small that they actually drive peoples luggage out in a cart which again was a first for me. It was great for us though because it was a quick 10 minutes to drop Lee off and then Jack and I were on our own.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would do with the 10 days and I had a short list of activities and since I was already up I decided to check out the farmers market at Ennis. This is the best one I have been to in the area and I wanted to go back. Turns out this was a great choice because not only was the farmers market happening but also an arts and crafts festival and my absolute favorite a library book sale. It was a great start to the week and I cleaned up on books, some shorts from a wonderful local thrift store.

While I was out and about I learned that huckleberries were starting to come in and since I am a huge fan I decided to go look for some. I have to say this is not as easy as it sounds. First of all, huckleberry patches are closely guarded secrets and the general descriptions of where they might be were conflicting. Some websites said on southern facing slopes, others said in shade under trees, and others said in wide open sunny places. Even the pictures of the plants were different as the different varieties are different heights. The best piece of advice I saw was to drive down rarely traveled country roads and look so that’s what Jack and I did. We didn’t actually see any huckleberries but we did stumble across this really cool dam and waterfall.

My original plan was to go out a few more times and look for huckleberries but to be honest being on this remote roads with just me and Jack didn’t feel super safe. Cell coverage in the area can be iffy and ultimately I decided it just wasn’t worth the risk. Plus my work week was crazy intense and we got some bizarre rain/hail weather that didn’t encourage outside exploring. Mainly Jack and I just hunkered down for the week and I just relaxed. Its nice having the RV all to yourself sometimes and I watched lots of TV that Lee’s not that interested in. Lee was thinking of me though and I was shocked when on Friday a beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived. Lee doesn’t send flowers very often and this was a gorgeous bouquet. So very sweet.

After a week of slacking I did want to get out on Sunday when the weather finally turned nice again. There was a Mountain Man festival here in town (think renaissance festival but with mountain men) and I drove over to take a look. There were lots of characters at this small festival and more fur than I think I have ever seen in my life. I wandered around a bit and saw everything but ultimately didn’t buy anything but a bottle of water.

Overall it was a decent week but it was nice to see Lee and get things back to normal. The main thing I learned was I’m not so great about getting out and doing things by myself despite being in a gorgeous area. I like sharing the experiences with someone and I am glad I have Lee to share them with.

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First Time in Shoshone National Forest

After exploring East Yellowstone we continued into the Shoshone National Forest and all I can say about this area is WOW. This might be the most beautiful National Forest I have ever been in and it reminded me of Utah with big trees. The rock formations were absolutely stunning. Let me just show you.

There was even a cool gift shop (Buffalo Bills historic hunting lodge) and I snagged a couple of cool magnets.

The absolute best section is at the easternmost part of the National Forest where the rock formations are said to look like Old Jerusalem. Look for a nice parking area and a beautiful concrete path which you can walk right down to the water. Definitely worth a stop.

After leaving the Shoshone Forest we drove through Buffalo Bill State Park which has a huge lake and a dam you can tour. Since we had Jack we didn’t do the tour but it looked interesting. They also had some cool old tunnels that we went though. Jack wasn’t so sure what to think about that.

Next was a place called Hellfire Canyon. This is a small geothermic area along a river and I can see why folks were kind of freaked out by it back in the day.

Finally we hit Cody, which is a farther drive than I thought it would be. There is some cool stuff there but because we had Jack we couldn’t do any of it and we took a quick drive around and then headed back. We would like to go back sometime without Jack but doggy daycare has been a challenge in this area. Since Cody has not one but two Chinese buffets (the only ones we have seen in the entire western Montana/Wyoming area we will definitely make an effort though. Plus there is a really nice Wild West museum.

This big boy statue in the middle of a huge field was so unusual we stopped and took some pics. Would love to know the story behind it.

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First Time in East Yellowstone

Despite the weather challenges and the flooding we have been lucky enough to explore all of the roads in Yellowstone National Park except for the stretch between Fishing Village and the east gate. This gate has been closed due to snow and flood several times during the season but the stars finally aligned and we were able to go explore it on one of my days off. It takes a long time to get over to that section of the park from West Yellowstone, but it was totally worth it.

Lee and I are constantly amazed by the variation in landscape different sections of this park offer. The east section was unlike anything we have seen so far and the views were spectacular. Le me show you a few.

Beautiful Yellowstone lake views with some geysers

We drove up to Lake Butte Overlook and this little road was fantastic. We let Jack run around and got some great pictures of the lake. There was a fire in this area at some point but the stark trees actually added to the beauty and the blue of the lake was amazing.

Next we started to climb up over Sylvan Pass (7% grade for 5 miles) and saw some gorgeous views. We also stopped and got some cool shots of a mountain goat or sheep?? I can never tell the difference when they don’t have the curly horns. It posed for me 🙂

We also found a great mountainside waterfall we could walk right up to. I love interactive waterfalls and this one was really nice.

Absolutely gorgeous and we drove all the way to the East gate which then goes into the Shoshone National Forest. That forest was so special I am saving that for another post but we did keep going all the way until Cody.

Beautiful small lake up on the pass
the East Gate

One other thing I wanted to mention though was I have been really disappointed with our eagle sightings but we saw three in one day!! One of them I managed to get a few shots off and although they were a bit blurry it was thrilling.

On the way back home we also took a different route and saw one black bear and a huge herd of elk (with babies) up near Canyon Village. The herd animals migrate to higher ground as it gets hotter and this Elk group was by far the largest we have seen.

Baby nursing. I didn’t know the little ones have spots like deer

It was another really nice day and I will cover the rest of it in my next post. Just super happy we were able to see every major road accessible area of the park.

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First Time on a Lectric Bike

No that is not a typo. Lectric is the brand name of a company that makes ebikes that seem designed for people like us. We first used an electric bike at Timothy Lake that was purchased by our employers, but since it was a standard 10 speed I never felt steady on it. Even Lee wiped out a couple of times riding it because when you engaged the electric the bike would jump. Since that experience we have talked several times about getting electric bikes but they are pretty pricey and I wasn’t sold on the fact I would like them enough to use them.

Fast forward to Yellowstone and my reading a post by some fellow RV Dreamers Les and Sue. I have followed their blog and taken their advice from the very beginning of our RV journey so when they raved about the Lectric bike I took that seriously. I also know they are all about getting value for their dollar and since these bikes are over $1K that mattered to me. Last thing I wanted was an expensive toy we would never use.

I reached out to them personally and asked for their opinion and based on that we decided to rent a couple and try them out. Bikes are a pretty personal thing and I was particularly nervous because for the last several months I have been having balance issues. Whether that is caused by high elevation or the extra 15 pounds I put on after quitting smoking I don’t know, but I haven’t been surefooted for awhile. The last thing I wanted to do was take those balance issues on a bike. Lee kept gently pushing me to try it though and after sharing my concerns we set out on a Saturday on one of the few bike trails in Yellowstone to give it a go.

I’ll be honest it took a little while to setup bikes because we wanted to take our cameras and needed to be sure they were safe. The bikes we rented were the standard models (without baskets) so we bungeed our camera bags and water to the back rack which worked ok. The good news was the wide tires and lower to the ground design made for a very stable ride and although I kept ride assist lowest level I did enjoy the sensation. It was also really easy to stop at some sites along the way, including this thermal pool.

The gravel road was in pretty good shape, but I was pleased to see the bike handle the rougher spots pretty well. Initially we discovered the shocks were turned off and it got even better once we turned that feature on. My major complaint was the seat wasn’t that comfortable, but we were lucky enough to see two Lectric bikes with all the bells and whistles on the trail and those larger seats would definitely do the trick.

Initially my plan was to ride the bikes to Fairy Falls but unfortunately that trailhead was no bikes allowed. We didn’t have chains or locks so decided to leave that for another day and continued on the bike path. The path was on the backside of the the Prismatic basin, which is probably the most iconic in Yellowstone. There is an overlook where you can supposedly get great shots but again the path was no bikes so we just finished out the trail to the other end. I should probably mention that Yellowstone is really not bike friendly and they actively discourage bikers on the main roads, but the trail served its purpose and was a great place to try out the bikes. Plus it was pretty.

As you can see when we were heading back the crowds were definitely getting larger. There were many envious glances as we breezed by folks going uphill using the pedal assist and since it was getting really hot I was super glad for the breeze. Another unexpected benefit was the area was pretty buggy, but on the bikes the bugs mainly left us alone. All in all I was pretty happy with the experience but Lee had one more area he wanted to explore.

After stopping at home and taking the dog for a walk, we headed out on the Frontier Trail. This national forest service trail is opened year round for snow shoers and cross country skiers and was in pretty rough shape. The bikes did surprisingly well on this rougher road with the exception of one steep hill. We both decided to get off and push the bikes up and even using pedal assist it was pretty tough. Honestly this trail was more suited for mountain bikes and my butt is still sore from that section a few days later. I would recommend a smoother path personally for future trips but we did make it there and back.

One last thing I should probably mention is another major concern of mine was bears. To be honest I have been somewhat hesitant to hike much because of bear and cub activities and I wasn’t sure I felt much better on a bike. I finally talked to Lee about it and asked what happened if we turned a corner and one of us was attacked and his answer (without pause) was the other person should haul ass. That oddly made me feel a little better, but I was still somewhat nervous when we were in the heavily treed areas with less visibility. Later I saw that I wasn’t being paranoid in my concerns because the forest service had special signs for what bikers should do if they saw a bear. They recommended standing your ground and never running, which I get for the average biker, but since these bikes can go 30mph the advice might be a little different. Not sure what I would do in that situation to be honest. Thankfully there isn’t bear activity in most areas so that problem is pretty Yellowstone specific.

Oh and another thing. Despite not riding a bike in a couple of years, I did pedal almost the entire way and my battery was still close to full when we were done. I’ll be honest after pushing the bike up the hill c I did use more power to get home, but overall I thought it was a good workout. We liked the experience so much that we decided to buy a couple of bikes ourselves and Lee ordered them along with front and back baskets, cup holders, and mirrors on Monday. All in it was around $3K which is not cheap but thankfully Lee has picked up a side gig that should cover the cost. I’ll do a more thorough review when they arrive in a couple of weeks, but wanted to share our experience while it was fresh in my mind.

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Yellowstone – Thumb Basin and Brink of Upper Falls

This is a long one so you might want to grab a cup of coffee!

Now that the park is opened up we have been trying to see many of the sites we previously missed. On this particular day we left Jack at home and headed into the park to see Thumb Basin. This geyser area is right on the lake and is particularly cool because some of the geysers are actually under the lake water. Unfortunately the geysers are all pretty much dormant but I still really enjoyed the views.

The colors are really starting to pop. They are best in late July and early August as the sun encourages algae to grow

Some of the pools are draining right into the lake which makes for a very cool effect and change of color.

My favorite though was the geysers in the lake itself. Apparently they stay warm enough to keep the ice clear around them and the otters use them as “fishing holes” in the winter. Super cool. I wish they were still going off that would be neat to see.

After Thumb Basin we were driving towards Canyon Village and saw a little turnoff along the lake and on impulse stopped and saw a beautiful sandbar full of people enjoying the views of the lake. It was a windy but wonderful views and a great spot to hang out on a hot day.

I should also mention that we saw several Elk and a couple of buffalo as we were traveling.

Lastly we went to the Brink of the Upper Falls (based on a recommendation by one of Lee’s work friends) and WOW was it spectacular. I have been to the head of many waterfalls and I have never seen anything like this. First of all it has three different levels and each view is pretty unique. Plus the water levels are really high and the power of it was thrilling. I heard a local say she visits the site all of the time and she had never seen it this high. I did the best I could to capture it in pictures but really Lee’s video does a much better job.

The rainbow was a great addition

After spending a long time getting pictures at the falls we walked back up the stairs and down the old road to a bridge and got some more cool shots. It really was spectacular and my favorite of the the Yellowstone waterfall sightings so far. I like my waterfalls up close and personal and this certainly provided that.

Like I said the pictures simply don’t do it justice but I think Lee’s video does. Highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch it, and as always, it looks better full screen and in HD.

We very much appreciate your support of our blog

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
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Grand Teton National Park – Moose-Wilson and Grosse Ventre Roads

After completing the Teton Park Road, we continued into Jackson Hole and stopped for some McDonalds. The day was getting really hot and we had Jack with us so we needed some quick food and then continued on our way. At the visitors center we had learned the Moose-Wilson road would be closed for repairs the following week so decided we wanted to drive it while it was still open. Part of the road is in the National Park (and there is an entrance gate) and part of it goes past Teton Village, which I had been wanting to see anyways.

My favorite part of the road was actually at the northern end where there was a huge lake that moose like to feed in. I would love to see a fully antlered moose and if I lived nearer I would definitely come and hang out here in the early mornings to see if I could see one.

Continuing our attempt to stay on the lesser traveled roads and avoid the crowds we made our way to Antelope Flats and the Mormon Row historic district. Back in the 1890s Mormon settlers established the community of Grovont which at one time had 27 homesteads. Although most of it is abandoned we were surprised that several people were still living there. We also loved the two beautiful barns in this area. We spent a ton of time taking our own version of these iconic pictures

This was my favorite of mine

After Mormon Row we headed onto Grosse- Ventre Rd traveling past the small town of Kelly along the way. It is always interesting to me when small towns are within the borders of National Parks although I don’t really understand how that works. Grosse-Ventre road actually leaves the park and goes into the Bridger-Teton National Forest. We didn’t go very far because the road gets a little rough and it was at the end of a long day, but the mountain and river views we did see were terrific.

It had been a really long day but a very satisfying one and we were both happy we had had such beautiful weather for our first time in Tetons.

We very much appreciate your support of our blog

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Grand Teton National Park – Teton Park Road

Grand Teton is a very special National Park, but I think most people would agree that if you can only go on one day, make it a clear one so you can see the mountains. You can see them from almost everywhere in the park and the different views are spectacular. That’s why we waited a full two months to see the park. Coordinating a clear sky day with our work schedules was a bit of a challenge but finally we got that beautiful mountain shot that we have seen from others.

I literally felt like I was in a painting.

But I am jumping ahead. First we had to travel through Yellowstone and into the north entrance of Grand Teton. As an interesting note, there is no need to pay through the north entrance (there isn’t even a gate) and later when we asked a ranger he said it was because they assumed people had already paid at Yellowstone. Makes sense because there is only one dirt road opened seasonally that can be used to bypass the Tetons.

The beginning of the road through Teton is shared but then it splits with the more scenic Teton Park Road, which runs closer to the lakes. The highway also has some nice views but it is farther out and moves much faster. This is actually pretty cool because it allows people to “pass through” the park quickly. The Teton Park Road is more for the tourist traveler and that’s the one we wanted.

Teton Park Road highlighted in yellow

Before the road splits there are some initial views of the mountain and large grassy areas where (if you are lucky) you can see buffalo and or bears. In general we saw fewer animals in Tetons versus Yellowstone’s but this starting section usually has some kind of animal in it.

The Colter Bay Visitor Center is the first of three visitors centers coming from the north and we stopped there briefly. That’s where we learned the National Park was under a mask requirement and masks had to be worn inside all building in the park. We were really surprised because there is no mask requirement in Yellowstone, but we learned Wyoming institutes county wide mask bans as needed based on “hot spots” and the county the Tetons are located in was under such a ban Thankfully they had masks available so we grabbed a couple and went on our way.

Next we stopped at a beautiful Catholic Church. We love seeing old churches in our travels and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart (built in 1937) was beautiful. The altar and stained glass window faced the mountain view and the inside wooden artwork was equally beautiful.

Next we saw a sign to Signal Mountain and on impulse we decided to make the drive. If you do nothing else I highly recommend driving this road because the views at the top were absolutely spectacular. The picture above for example was taken from there and it was my absolutely favorite spot of the entire day. It as Jack’s favorite too!

It felt like we were in the Sound of Music opening sequence with the mountains and the flowers. By the way I have done absolutely nothing to this picture this is 100% what it looked like.
The valley to the left showed the clouds were rolling in so I am so glad we stopped and did this first.

I took many more pictures, and these are just a few of my favorites. I also wanted to show some pictures I got of a grouse (first time seeing one for either Lee or I) and its posing for us made the spot extra perfect.

After Signal Mountain we continued on Teton Park Road and saw a dirt turnoff. Since we had such luck with Signal Mountain we decided to give this a shot. The road ultimately ended down at the Snake River (it was so wide I initially thought it was a lake) and there were a couple of campsites down there. It was a great place to walk Jack so we wandered around a bit. As an FYI this was one of the few places we couldn’t see the mountains from.

The biggest disappointment of the day was when we got to Jenny Lake Visitors center. It was absolutely packed because it is also a major trailhead and we couldn’t find anywhere to park at all. We later learned from our friends Julie and Casey that it was almost always packed and to get a spot you have to come really early in the morning which will be very hard for us living in West Yellowstone. We did stop at a pull out a bit down the road and went and got some views. This area was also super crowded but at least we could find a spot. We didn’t take Jack on this one though because the path was narrow and tons of people were on it. It was a pretty spot though.

Personally, I found the best views (Mount Signal aside) to be from the road itself. There are lots of turnouts and we stopped a couple of times to get pictures. There are 11 active glaciers in the park although you can see with my long lens shots many of them are shrinking. Cool though.

This road reminded me of the long stretch into Monument Valley just with snow 🙂

Right before the end of Teton Park Road we saw an Episcopalian Church (Chapel of Transfiguration opened in 1925). I really liked this one because they had a large glass window facing the mountains. It also had outside seating facing the mountain and a beautiful old church bell.

Loved the simplicity of the altar with the gorgeous view though a large window

Finally we arrived at the Craig Thomas Visitors Center and it was really terrific. One of the best I have seen in any National Park and again huge glass windows looking out on the mountains. I particularly liked that the park was focused on the various people who lived and traveled here and had cool iron statues of many of them. Beautiful building, fantastic giftshop (although really pricey) and great exhibits.

According to the National Park website here is a quick history. “Congress created the original park in 1929 to protect the Teton Range and several lakes at the foot of the mountains. In 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared additional land in the valley to be Jackson Hole National Monument. In 1949, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated the land he purchased to the government to be included in the national park. Finally, in 1950, Congress combined the original park, the national monument, and the Rockefeller lands to establish present-day Grand Teton National Park.” John D Rockefeller is given a ton of credit though for the status of the park today.

I loved this quote.

Overall I really liked the Teton Park Road but can’t stress enough that you should go on a clear sky day. It’s definitely all about the views and you don’t want to miss those. After finishing the road we went on Moose-Wilson and Grosse Venture Roads on the outer edges of the park but I will save that for the next post.

We very much appreciate your support of our blog

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June 2022 Budget

As much as I love it here it is expensive to live here. Thank heavens we have a free site or I can’t imagine what it would look like but gas prices are crazy high and local food isn’t much better. All that being said I am super happy with the month of July because we spent under $5K. See below for more details.

Clothing – We stock up on souvenir T-Shirts when we are in someplace fun and there are lots of great ones here. Lee even had a couple of T-Shirts made that have cute saying about not petting furry things in the park.

Entertainment – We spent $571 in this category but we both think this is inflated by some monthly charges. This include newspaper and TV subscriptions, IPad games, and music along with our standard paying to get into places.

Groceries – Over $1,000 again but we are trying to do what we can to keep these costs down. This also includes alcohol and I did buy some tequila for huckleberry margaritas 🙂

Eating Out – We spent over $650 on eating out. When we travel long days on the weekends we do like to find someplace local to eat and we have been going out with Lee’s work friends couple times a month as well.

Gifts – Birthday presents for my grandsons. I splurged a bit!

Truck Fuel – $475 is a minor miracle considering the distances we have been traveling and the over $6 a gallon gas price.

We very much appreciate your support of our blog

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
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Yellowstone – Lewis Falls

After all the flooding craziness we were thrilled to learn that the park had reopened most of the roads and was removing the every other day restrictions. The National Park Service has done a fantastic job of gathering resources, but I have to admit I was surprised they could fix all the road damage in a three week period. Turns out the roads aren’t all fixed, but they are all passable and they did an excellent job of balancing pressure to fully reopen and public safety. Here is a map someone made. The roads in red are still closed.

With the exception of Lee’s one night time visit to the park we had not been in at all, so were both excited. Since we thought most people would be heading north (and we always try to go the opposite way of crowds) we headed south. There was no line to get into the park at 7am and the roads were pretty free of people. It was also a beautifully clear morning and we could see the steam rising from the various geysers. I would love to be able to capture what that looks like in a picture, but below is the closest I could get. On a clear, cool day you can see the steam rising from miles away and its really very beautiful.

We also stopped at the Continental Divide sign when we were going over a pass, and this was nice because this area has been pretty snowy. We made the trip short though because we got dive bombed by mosquitos (a first since we have been here) and Jack started making snarling noises towards the woods. To the best of our recollection neither of us have ever heard him snarl like that so we figured it was a good idea to get back in the truck 🙂

I love when we cross the Continental Divide

Finally we arrived at Lewis Falls and grabbed a great parking spot. We passed these falls once when it was still really snowy but all the paths and parking areas were closed in. This stop was really beautiful and the falls are much nicer than they looked from a quick glance. There is also a path (pretty rough) going up to an observation area which I would have missed. Lee found it though and we got several nice views of the falls. Here are my favorite pics.

The path up to the falls

A man and his dog 🙂

If you do get a chance to go don’t forget to walk across the road because those views are gorgeous as well.

After Lewis Falls we headed into Grand Teton, but I am going to save that for another post. I did want to mention though that when we came out of the park that same evening the wind had kicked up and there were clouds (not an exaggeration) of pollen coming from the trees. I personally have never seen anything like it and unfortunately couldn’t capture it well in a pic, but the visibility was less than 100 yards and people immediately turned their lights on. So far I am doing ok with allergies but if you are a person who struggles keep that in mind when you decide what month to come in.

Those clouds in the sky were actually yellow and filled with pollen

We very much appreciate your support of our blog

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
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Sawtelle Mountain and Lee goes in the park at night!

Looking for something fun to do one evening Lee and I drove to Island Park and up Sawtelle Mountain. Since we arrived, Lee has been wanting to go to the top of this mountain because it has an FAA Radar dome at the top. It’s part of the joint surveillance network and Lee loves that sort of stuff so he did some research to see if we could go up. Turns out we can but the road was a bit hard to find.. Eventually we did start the drive and the gravel road was VERY well maintained,

The higher we got the cooler it was and the more the landscape changed. The road changed as well and turned into a crazy switchback. Lee loves those sorts of drives and I just white knuckled it until we got to the top.

The road we traveled as seen from the top
The only animals we saw were a couple of marmots
The cell towers are to the right in the picture so the cell coverage was amazing

When we reached the top (9884 ft) it exceeded my expectations. The 360 degree views were amazing and we could even see the Grand Tetons far away. Let me just show you the pictures.

Beautiful Henry Lake State Park…excited about visiting that now
Island Park Reservoir
My brave mountain climber. I stayed off the rocks

The facility itself was also pretty cool. It was all locked up but you could see the outside equipment. Because this is a surveillance system it is accessed year round and the federal government has a second warehouse farther down with road clearing vehicles. Personally I can’t imagine clearing snow on those switchbacks and I give HUGE credit to the folks that do it.

It was a great visit and we spent quite a bit of time up there with Lee getting some great truck porn as well 🙂 Jack loved it because we could just let him run around although I did get a little nervous when he went towards the edges. It’s a great trip to make on a clear and warmer day and I highly recommend it if you have the time.

Speaking of weather, it has finally stopped raining and has been clear skies for several days now. We also learned that they are opening the northern part of the park on 7/1 which is great for the local businesses. The entrances at Cooke City and Gardiner still aren’t open, but you can enter through the other entrances and travel 90% of the park. Most importantly they are removing the every other day license plate restrictions so we can go in any day.

Lee took advantage of the new rules and went in one night with some folks he works with to take shots of the Galaxy. Apparently the center of the Galaxy was lined up with the park and he got some beautiful shots. Night shots take more patience than I have so I gave it a pass but here are a few of my favorites.

The lines are shooting stars …really cool
Looks like a rift in the universe. Super cool

As a side note, if you do go into the park at night you should definitely have bear spray and drive carefully. You should also go with a group as well and be prepared to be very aware of your surroundings. One of the guys Lee went with had night vision goggles and used them to continually scan the area for animals. Thankfully they went with a large, vigilant group and had no issues.

Next up we will both be heading into the park and we have a very fully July 4th weekend planned!

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