Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Days 25, 26, 27
From Gillette, up, up, up and down, down, down to Cody
As we drove up the on ramp for route 90 there were 3 antelope grazing by the road. We turned off the engine and watched these beautiful animals. They seemed so tame until we started the Model A and then off they went. Again, we are treated to another beautiful sunrise. The road is an interesting red color. We drove by an open red gravel pit. That explains the color of route 90.
Drove by herds of antelope. It was very nice of the farmers to plant fields of alfalfa for them. There were herds trimming the alfalfa and herds just lying down in the fields. Saw two elk with big racks.
Stopped in Sheridan for breakfast and saw 10 Model A street rods pull in with California plates. Of course Pat had to go over and talk to the group. It was Bill Perry from All Ford in San Jose and his touring group. Bill wanted to know where were Hazleton and Jones?
Headed out of town to Ranchester and we had a terrible headwind. There were 2 cyclists pedaling standing up but not moving. Started climbing up a very scenic drive to Cutler Hill, 8,347 and on to Granite Pass, 9,033. This was a big climb but the ride down was steeper and we flew to Greybull. Many motor cyclists were on the road to Sturgis and groups of police cars were heading the same direction.
Checked into our motel in Cody and then off to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. This is quite a place. There are 5 museums in one huge building, Buffalo Bill Museum, Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearms Museum and the Draper Museum of Natural History plus McCracken Research Library.
Day 26 – Cody to Yellowstone
The day dawned with cool air and low humidity and everyone is in good spirits. As we bounced out of town at 7:15, Bob was concerned that we had a square wheel, but the tires were just cold and the road was ridgey. We departed in shifts but all cars met at the east gate of Yellowstone while waiting 30 minutes for a pilot car because of construction. Yellowstone was the first National Park and has more than 2 million acres. As we drove through the park we shared the road with bison and elk. We saw osprey, ravens, pelicans, trumpeter swans, and ducks and geese. The neatest attraction was a bald eagle in her nest. We looked and looked and looked in vain but we did not see a bear but Ray thinks he heard one rustling in the bushes. Old Faithful did not disappoint us, it put on a great show for a huge crowd of about a 1000 people. A couple from CA came and sat next to the ladies who sat on the boardwalk, while the men found some rocking chairs on the veranda and watched from there. Patti says it’s because they are older. Toured until 5 and then headed for the hotel in West Yellowstone, MT. Stayed at the Country Inn Motel and our “suite” was like the Winchester Mystery House. (No further comment needed) Walked to dinner, shopped, supermarket, and the local train museum.
There is a tremendous amount of tourist traffic, but the park handles it very well with good signs, and large parking areas. Also the park’s forest is in a renewal phase. I would estimate that fully 2/3 of the pine trees are either dead from pine beetles or from fire. It actually looks very grey and sad in a lot of places. However, new pine trees have started in the burn areas but it will be 20 or 30 years before it is forested again.
Day 27 – Back to Civilization (cell phone and computer)
5:00am, We (Bob and Pat) get a jump since we are slower (Bob keeps telling me that the speed of the car is slower but it is because he can’t pass up rust). We did discover that if you hit the entrance gate at that time of day, there is nobody there to charge you an entrance fee. It was very eerie in the geyser areas as we passed through in the morning twilight. The steam vents were much more pronounced and more numerous than in the middle of the day. It looked like a science fiction movie, especially since we were the only car on the road. Do do do do, do do do do.
Went through Grand Teton in the rain. We actually needed a heater today, and wrapped a blanket around our legs for warmth. Stopped in Jackson, WY for gas and got out our jackets and umbrellas because of the cold and rain. Went into a neat trading post, where Bob and the gentlemen reminisced about oldtime cowboy characters and the names of their horses. Help, we need the name of Red Ryders horse. You betchem Red Ryder.
Good day, beautiful drive on Hwy 89 down the Snake River and then the Salt River, past Bear Lake, and up and over to Logan UT.
All the cars still doing well, we heard from Dave Jones who is struggling a little, see the attached comments. Just two more days if all goes well, leave the light on.......