Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Yellowstone, day 2

Another bright and early morning in Yellowstone! We got up and dressed, then headed downstairs to check in on the next geyser eruption... timing it really, really well. We toyed with the idea of grabbing breakfast in the little cafe, but then decided to eat the rest of our leftover Chinese / Thai food (this time heated up in the little microwave in the Inn). We walked along the boardwalk to the benches, walked past a little clump of people, chatting about the day to come, and, well, boom.

Oh! Good morning Mister Buffalo! Quick PSA: this is a TERRIBLE thing to do. We were absolutely clueless, and had the guy actually been on the boardwalk we probably would have walked right past him, or even brushed against him. "CLUELESS TOURISTS GORED BY BUFFALO AFTER BUMPING INTO HIM ON SIDEWALK! SEE THE HILARIOUS FOOTAGE HERE!"

We moved away quickly, and then wondered what would happen when the geyser erupted. Sure enough, about 3 minutes before it was due to go off, the buffalo wandered away. Then, as we happily ate our breakfast...

I think Old Faithful looked extra gorgeous in the crisp morning light!

We packed up our few things, then checked out of the Inn and hit the road. Well, okay, we stopped at the visitor center so that I could get my park passport stamped (priorities!), and then we were off. We stopped at a few places on the way north, including Biscuit Basin: 

Monument Geyser Basin:

our first REAL "road block" ... extreme buffalo sighting!

pardon me...

buffalo, coming through....

nothin' to see here, folks
 Then the loop trail at the Artists Paintpots:

with some pretty colors...

and awesome bubbling mud:

Then on to Norris Geyser Basin, which we visited briefly yesterday, but didn't make time for the longer loop. Today we were all about the big hissing vents:

I just keep thinking of what this must have been like to stumble across 200 years ago. You come over a ridge and into this massive plain... all smoking and steaming and bubbling. It must have been nuts. It's STILL nuts.

Then it was time to start heading out of the park... we knew there were roadworks between Norris and Mammoth, and to "EXPECT DELAYS". So we just got into line and crawled through. Amusing: a couple of times what we thought were construction delays were really buffalo delays!

We arrived at Mammoth over an hour later, slightly jangled from crawling through the roadworks, and all I wanted to do was put more miles under the tires. We had a long way to go before our hotel reservation, so we just put wax on trax and, again, imagined our next visit. (BTW, we've decided to go on an American road trip every 10 years... I fully expect that in 2025 we'll spend some quality time in South Dakota and Wyoming!)

Not much to report from the drive... but we did arrive at our final destination of the road trip... the Rivers Edge Resort in Alberton, Montana. Why there? Well, because it's the place we stumbled into, after dark, on the first night of our first road trip back in 2005. Seemed a fitting place to stop for the night!

view from the back door of our room at the Rivers Edge Resort

We had a nice dinner in the restaurant while watching Monday Night Football. (Really, a $5 taco bar is irresistible... but the "proper food", from the salad bar to the steak to the pasta, looked really delicious.) Then back to our room for our last night on the road, where we sat outside and looked at the moon and stars and listened to the river. Bliss.

The next morning we were up bright and early, and decided to drive a while before breakfast. We fell into the 1313 Bar and Restaurant in Wallace "Center of the Universe" Idaho, had a great meal, and then, really, just drove and drove home.

Well, okay, we did stop in North Bend to visit Twede's / the Mar T / the Double R Diner, since filming had wrapped up and the diner had reopened. Silly me, ordering a large order of fries... #toomanyfries ...

All in all, the trip was amazing -- we met some great people who are crazy for running. We saw some cute small towns, and some gorgeous national parks. We also ran SIX HALF MARATHONS in SIX STATES in SIX DAYS. And that's somethin'.

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