LOVE TO WANDER
We left Billings behind us and continued to head West towards the Beartooth Highway. This 68 mile stretch of road runs right into Yellowstone Park. We passed through Red Rocks on the way, which is a lovely little place. This would have been a better overnight stop than Billings I think, although we had travelled about as far as we could go yesterday, so another hour would have maybe been too much.
The car was showing low tyre pressure, which was worrying given the drive that lay ahead and the wilderness of the national park. Fortunately, we found a garage in Red Rocks and they checked the tyre for us. No sign of a nail or anything - but to be sure, they jacked the car up, took the wheel off and checked inside the tyre too. Then, they checked all the other tyre pressures for us. So kind and they didn't want any dollars for their trouble. We gave them enough for a couple of beers anyway. We were very grateful for their help!
The Beartooth Highway is a truly fantastic drive. There really aren't enough superlatives to describe the beauty of it.
The pictures don't really do it justice either - although they probably speak louder than words. You really are a dot on the landscape here - surrounded by a vast expanse of wilderness broken only by the snaking road. At the summit, a storm rolled in and there was lightening - quite frightening - we rushed back to the car for the safety of the rubber tyres. we didn't want to finish up our trip here as a lightening conducter.
It hailed briefly too. The car registered 42 degrees F at 1.51. y the time we reached Gardiner Lake, it was back in the 70s again. this road closes on 1st October, so you need to time your trip carefully to make sure you can drive it - and I would say, it is an absolute must do.
We are covering a lot of miles here - about 1600 so far. It is a good job gas is cheap -$2.70 a gallon. We drove through the Lamar Valley and saw a bison herd. We had to stop as they crossed over the road.
A bit scary to be that close. Jane - this was a "wish you were" moment. If you had brought your paints and brushes I am sure you could have created some original souvenirs of these beautiful beasts - they reminded me of your lovely cow pictures - better than my photos, I am sure
We finally arrived at Yellowstone's North East Entrance - gateway to America's first national park. It is MASSIVE! One of the first Yellowstone explorers recorded his first impressions of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River: "As I took in the scene, I realised my own littleness, my helplessness, my dread exposure to destruction, my inability to cope with or even comprehend the mighty architecture of nature..." I see exactly what he meant! The temperature has dropped down to 42 degrees F at 1.51 - I should have had gloves and a hat in my rucksack really, but it was just abit OK.
We made it to the Visitor centre at Yellowstone but couldn't get in - it was surrounded by elk! There was one Lone lady Ranger doing her best to keep people the required 25 metre distance - a nightmare of a job!