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Last Wyoming Day

July 16, 2013

Wyoming – Wednesday, July 10

Tula and I started our morning off with a walk through some of the different campground loops. I noticed a lot of the sites had bear boxes to store food in, and wondered why I was at a site that didn’t have one. I’m guessing it was because I was there for just one night, and wouldn’t have brought as much food in, although I do have a rubbermaid bin full of stuff! When we were a few loops down, one group of campers told me a bear had been by about 40 minutes ago – I decided to go no further! I read a sign somewhere that despite all the near precautions, an average of 17 people are killed in the 2 parks each year. Then I tried to get Tula cleaned up a bit – she got some pine sap on her from laying in the pine needles last night.

Then I drove to the visitor center and was immediately hit by the glorious mountain and lake view. I wanted to walk on one of the trails, but wanted it to be relatively short and well-used because I wasn’t going out into bear country on my own! I asked one of the rangers about trails, and after an initial sarcastic remark (yes, I realize the bears don’t hand rangers their daily schedule!) he had a nice suggestion of a place to walk, and I covered 2 1/2 miles in the woods, and there were enough other people out and about that I felt comfortable. Plus the lake was by part of the trail, and in a pinch I could have made a dash for the lake, but that made me wonder if bears can out-swim humans! Then Tula and I walked almost another mile on the sidewalks in the area; admiring the mountains the whole time. I drove down to Moose Junction and went to the visitor center, then began the pretty drive north again with the mountains in view the whole time.

I didn’t make a donation today since I had made 2 on my first day in Wyoming.

I was going to leave Wyoming via Yellowstone’s west entrance, and I took the long way around to see other parts of the park. I stopped for more walking at the Mud Volcano boardwalk, then stopped at the Canyon Falls visitor center. I also stopped at the Dragon’s Mouth Spring, and it really did look – and sound like – a big dragon breathing smoke! As I continued driving along, I came upon a whole herd of buffalo soaking up the sun right by the road. Needless to say, lots of cars had pulled over to admire them. Lots of them were laying flat on their sides, and others were just laying down surveying their kingdom. Some of them are still so shaggy – those coats have to be hot!

My last walk in Wyoming was to go see the Steamboat Geyser. It huffs and puffs and spurts out little streams of water, but when it does erupt it’s 2-3 times higher than Old Faithful, and that must be an incredible sight! The problem is, it’s totally unpredictable, and the eruptions can be anywhere from 4 days apart to 50 years! I did not wait around to watch for an eruption!

And then, my time in Wyoming had come to an end. I walked a little more than 56 miles (there’s just so much to see!) and made all 7 donations – The American Legion Operation Comfort Warrior program, the Little Laramie Valley Volunteer Fire Department fund raiser, Laramie Soup Kitchen, National Historic Rivers Interpretive Center, Bread of Life food pantry, Cody Cupboard, and Yellowstone Foundation.

I would have camped in Yellowstone if I could have, to end my visit in the parks, but my luck had run out with getting last-minute campsites. So I drove out of Yellowstone’s west entrance into Montana – West Yellowstone, Montana. And this is a big expensive tourist town where a lot of people stay who are visiting the parks. I wasn’t going to stay in town – it was all just too much for me. Even though it was getting dark, I started out on a winding, mountainous road toward Bozeman and got about halfway there. But there were a sad number of crosses on the roadside, and a sign reminding everyone of fatalities, and with it getting late and I was starting to get tired, I knew the wise thing to do was stop, even if the motel was a little pricey. So I came to a decent place in the middle of nowhere and called it a day. The people at the front desk waived the $25 pet fee, and after camping for the past 4 nights, I was happy to stop!

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One Comment
  1. Hi Nancy, I’m just getting caught up on older posts obviously. I’m curious about your camping setup – are you pitching a tent when camping or sleeping in the van? The pictures of Yellowstone remind me so much of my favorite travel destination – just wondering what your favorite memory has been so far?

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