2017 Sept 10 – Cody, WY to Bozeman, MT

We woke to cloudy skies and wind in Cody and had some rain as we drove west toward Yellowstone National Park.  It didn’t last too long and by noon we had quite a nice mixed sun and cloud day.  The temperature even got back into the warm range.

We had spent several days in Yellowstone in 2010 and I would have loved to go to all the basins and geyers again but we do have to get home some day – unfortunately – so we decided that we would make some stops but principally drive through.  We were not geocaching when we were here before either.  No actual geocache containers are allowed to be hidden in Canadian or American National Parks, so people find Earth caches and Virtual caches instead.  Both of these cache types are informational and you must send in answers to questions or a photo to prove you were at the site before you can log the cache as found.

Not far outside of Cody you enter Shoshone Canyon. This tunnel was a normal short tunnel through the rock, but a short distance past it we entered another tunnel that was VERY long. When we exited the tunnel we pulled into the viewpoint for the Buffalo Bill Dam.  There are golf-cart shuttles that will take you over to the Visitor’s Center if you want.  We have toured quite a few dams in our time so we didn’t bother.  The lake/reservoir was nice and there were some interesting pieces of equipment and information boards.   This interesting construction, located on top of a hill, is called the Smith Mansion.  That is all I know.   We entered Yellowstone through the east gate road which we had not traveled on our last visit so that gave us some new scenery and finding the geocaches took us to some spots we may not otherwise have stopped.

First stop was the Butte Lake Overlook. The fumeroles were blowing steam along the lake shore. We saw quite a few Bison today.  This one has some horn decoration. We walked to the middle of The Fishing Bridge (where you are no longer allowed to fish). We were driving slowly along and in a large meadow I saw a big bison all by itself.  Then I noticed something white moving in the grass as well.  I told John to stop the truck because I thought I saw a wolf.  And sure enough this young wolf walks out of the field toward all the cars and people along the road.  It was quite oblivious to us all and was just listening and looking for food.  Then someone spoke loudly, and slammed a car door and rushed closer for a photo and off it went.  Great experience! Because we were on a drive-through we did not make any side trips into the basins to view the pools or geyers.  We drove right past the Mud Pots and Dragon’s Mouth so we had to go see them again. These two lovelies were waiting for mom and dad to return. It may be September and school is back in but Yellowstone is still very busy with sightseers.  Not too far from the Mammoth Hot Springs you drive the Golden Gate.  There is a nice waterfall that is right beside the road and unless you stop and walk over to the edge of the guard rail you don’t see it.

The Minerva Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs was a pretty as ever. When we were here before I spent ages walking all the board walks up there and taking dozens and dozens of photos.  I remember the entire side of the terrace being the oranges and white but now over half of it gets no water and has dried up.  I will have to check when I get home.  We drove into the community of Mammoth Hot Springs and got some ice cream before leaving the park, entering Montana, and heading up toward Bozeman.

There wasn’t an earth cache nor a virtual cache at this location but the information about the mountain was very interesting. There was an earthcache called Montana’s Mesa located at a rest stop beside the river.  It was a very pretty place to stretch our legs. John is good.  He just automatically pulls into any Historical Markers so I can read the sign boards.We got into Bozeman at 5ish and checked in to our hotel, which conveniently has a restaurant so we could eat without going out again.  Then it was back slaving away at the computer editing photos, choosing photos, checking email and writing a blog.  Another successful day on the 2017 Summer Road Trip.  Unfortunately there are only about three of them left.

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