A short drive to Byrce and we found a campsite on the outskirts of the National Park called Ruby’s campgrounds and we managed to stay in an authentic tepee. How cool is that. We are now at 7000 foot elevation so the heat of the previous weeks have dissapated. Time to layer the clothes. Bryce is not unlike the Grand Canyon with many hoo doos (spire columns) We drove to the natural bridge when it started to rain and we hurried back to our site to make dinner before the skies really opened up. Hotdogs, pork and beans and canned corn – standard campers fare.
The rains came, ugh! – an authentic tepee has an opening at the top… drip, drip, drip. We moved our air mattress to one side and pulled a tarp over us when we bedded down so that at least we stayed dry. In the morning I went to the office and got towels to mop the puddles on the canvas floor. With more rain in our forecast, we set up our tent inside the tepee. Necessity is the mother of invention.
(Pleasant surprise, we stopped along the way in Beaver, UT for lunch at the Timberline Restaurant. OMG, I had the most delicious french dip sandwich EVER and Jene had a scrumptious chicken and avocado sandwich).
Next stop – Yellowstone, we were there on our last road trip, camping in the park. On our way, we were in search of the elusive golden aspens. I say elusive because on our 1st RR trip cross country, we were too late, then our 1st camping trip, we were too early. They say the third time is a charm and we found a trove of glistening yellow and orange leaves quivering in the breeze.
Summer folded into autumn and all the campsites were closed except for a few in Mammouth Hot Springs so we stayed at the Angler’s Lodge outside the park. What a lovely place, overlooking Park Island, Idaho. Luxury log cabin room ($167 per night) on the corner with sweeping views of the river and meadow.
Jene went in search of more aspens that we had seen along the way and was hoping to get the warm light of the sunset. I wanted some riverside sunsets. We both had fish dinners at their restaurant which was good but not great.
We spanned 3 states to reach Yellowstone National Park (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming). A mere 40-45 minute haul. We saw grazing bison, Old Faithful, geyser pools and vents and a bull elk sitting by the side of the road.
Falls at Yellowstone National Park
Ol’ Faithful Geyser
The Glacier Red Bus runs through the park
The next night we ate at a neighboring restaurant, The Trout Hunter’s Lodge – Last Chance Bar & Grill where all the locals hang out and it was superb. I had an elk burger with huckleberry jam, tomatoes, grilled onions, lettuce, blu cheese on the side and sweet potato fries, Jene had a tender steak fillet with truffle fires that were to die for. We complimented the chef, Andy and chatted for a few minutes while he took a break.
The next day we headed north – a hop, skip and a jump to the western end of Yellowstone. and stayed at The Moose Lodge. Spent the day at Mammouth Hot Springs, the drive was long since the direct route was closed for reconstruction.
Mammouth Hot Springs
The end of our trip is near, Glacier National Park, we stayed in Kalispell’s Motel 6. We whizzed passed Flat Head Lake which was enormous.
Overcast weather, flat lighting and very few glaciers to be seen. I was disappointed in it. Going to the Sun Road was closed at the half way point, also due to construction. The inns and cabins had closed for the season.
Lake McDonald reflections on a cloudy day
If we had thought about it, we would have carried our passports along and headed up through Canada to cross the Rockies as a scenic route home. DUH