Days 17 -23 Good, Bad and then Great

With a heavy heart, we packed up and left Custer and headed west. Our overnight stop was the town of Buffalo. Nice little campground and really easy to get to. while looking through the information booklet, I saw that there was a commercial woolen mill just down the road. It takes fleece from the local Wyoming farmers and goes through the complete process. Scouring, carding, spinning and then converting into knitted and woven goods. They try to do it all as eco friendly as possible and everything is used or reused. Even better, they let people come in and tour around. So while Rob was packing up for our next day of travel, I headed off to the mill.

By the time I got back we were ready to start the fine journey to Cody, our home for the next 6 nights (more to follow about that )

Wednesday morning we were up bright and early for the run into Yellowstone, Cody is a good hour from the East Gate. We were really pleasantly surprised, the road from Cody to the East gate, cuts through the Wapiti Ridge and was gorgeous! We will be back to walk part of this later in the week. After going through the East gate its about another hour to the Fishing Bridge and the start of the Southern Loop and here is, for us at least, part of the “bad” its quite flat and barren, any trees that were there are dead now. But the worst part was the traffic, it was crazy busy. Also the main attraction on that loop is “old Faithful” The car park is about 4 times the size of a standard Walmart parking lot and as the geyser is pretty regular. We stood there with about 2000 other people waiting for the 10.30 eruption. It all felt very “Disney” and obviously after that point, everyone drives to the next site so they were all a challenge to get into. The high spot for me was actually the Crow picture below, we watched him undo the zip on the food pouch on a bike and remove whatever was in there. When he was done, as you can see, he was not at all bothered by us. We left the park a little despondent. Luckily when we got back to RV, I commented about it to a friend of mine from the UK that now lives in Idaho and she told us to go up through Indian Pass and Lamar Valley towards the Northern loop, but that’s for another day.

Thursday we took a walk from Hayden Bridge to the Buffalo Bill Reservoir about 5 miles round trip with some steep elevation for the last .5 mile. When we arrived at the reservoir there was a locked gate, but a very kind warden unlocked it and let us it to have a look, its really impressive.

Unfortunately a little more of the bad, something was effecting my eyes, it started at Yellowstone but by the time we finished the walk, My eyes were streaming but also really stinging. The local pharmacist suggested I take Claritin as well as eye drops. I decided that a day in the RV would probably be the best thing to do and so it took some persuading but I told Rob to go do the Indian Pass on his own. I spent the day stitching and when he came back he had some great stories and picture to share. If my eyes stay better, we will definitely do a return trip. Here are Rob’s best shots of the day.

On Saturday we went to the Buffalo Bill Museum, it was very good, it had 5 themed halls and all were worth walking around. If you are in the area and looking for a more gentle day, I would certainly suggest you go. That night we decided to go to the Rodeo and it was a fun night. Great to see so many of the youngsters getting involved. As it started to get dark, my camera could not keep up with the action, so these were all taken in the first hour.

Saturday night we made the decision to get up really early, 4.30 am, and go up over Indian Pass to the park. For those that saw the pictures on Facebook the Sunrise was great and the drive was amazing winding up and over the pass with lots of hairpin bends on both sides. Gets 2 thumbs up from us. We touch into Montana for a few miles and go through a small town called Cooke City. Although it happened too quick to be able to photograph, we were treated to a fox off to our side, twin fawns and then standing in the middle of the road before loping off was a MOOSE (that’s for all of our Colorado friends) First stop in Lamar Valley was a place known to the locals as the “Wall” its a known location to spot mountain goats, if you look really closely at the first picture, in the middle is a mum and baby. Far too far away to really be any use as a photograph but still a memory. We saw lots of Buffalo and 3 separate sightings of little black bears. A bald eagle sat in a dead tree across the river from us, again a little far for photography. Treated to an Osprey in a nest looking after their young and the mate was standing guard off to the side to frighten away any predators, It went straight after a crow that flew a bit too close for his liking. We drove up to the start of the northern loop and just went as far on it as the Tower Falls. The best was yet to come, as we started to drive back a WOLF crossed the road in front of us!!! it quickly dispatched a poor little chimpmunk, which meant that we had enough time to take some pictures. Only one animal left on my mental checklist and that’s the longhorn sheep.

On the way back we stopped at the gorge to take some pictures, it is also the only spot between other than Cody where there is a cell signal, and this was the last bit of bad, I got a panicked message from the park host to say we were due to check out that day and they were fully booked. Eek major mistake made by someone who will remain nameless, although they are 5ft 2 with eyes of blue! drove like the wind back to the park wondering what the heck we would do for that night. When we got back to the park, the host let us know that someone had just pulled out a day early just minutes before we got back and so all we needed to do was move slots. Phew, so check, double check and check again!