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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Yellowstone & Bear Tooth Pass

In the last post, I mentioned how cool the weather has been here in Cody.  Well, It's pretty much gone the other way now with temps in the high 80's in the day and 60's at night with low humidity. It's actually about perfect and supposed to be in low 90's later this week.  The only complaint is there are five  wildfires still burning in Yellowstone Park generating plenty of smoke, making visibility and photography a challenge. Speaking of wildfires, the park lets the fires burn in a contained manner. It's considered to be a part of the natural evolution process. In fact, the lodge pole pine trees depend on extreme temperatures, like fire, to release their seeds. The south entrance into Yellowstone has been closed about a week, and is still closed.

 Saturday we went to Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West that was great. Afterwards, we went to the well known rodeo here in Cody that was quite good. We haven't been to a rodeo in ages and this one is way cool. Sunday, we loaded the truck with snacks and drinks and headed out for Yellowstone. The park is huge and would take many days to see it all. We were here two years ago, and decided to go into some sections of the park we haven't seen before. For our newer blogger friends that weren't following us then, you can read about it here and here. The park was nowhere near as crowded as our last visit. I assume that's due to it being later in the season and the wildfires.  Monday, we went to Beartooth Pass via Chief Joseph's Highway. This is considered to be one of the most scenic drives in America, and it was magnificent again. This drive is easily in our top five most picturesque destinations. Fortunately, the wind shifted to the east Monday blowing the smoke out of the area and was the prettiest day we've had since arriving here. The temperature on top of the pass was a cool 62 with a brisk breeze, but was still comfortable. The pass had been closed due to snow last week for one day.

Tomorrow we're saying goodby to Cody and heading north into Montana where it will take us two days to reach our destination, Rollins RV Park in Rollins, Mt.  We plan to meet our  Cajun buddies, Terry and Kathy Derouen who have been work camping there. I understand they're ready to retire again and hit the road!  We'll spend the night tomorrow night  somewhere along the way, close to I-90.

Eleanor Lake

Burned forest near Yellowstone Lake

Picnic area adjacent to Yellowstone Lake

We saw plenty of Bison in the park. The park does manage the herd size.

Area of the park known as Mud Volcano. This is a spring that was so hot it was boiling.

Another boiling spring but this one is in a cave and produces waves with a gurgling noise. It's called Dragon's Mouth

Muddy boiling spring and is the "Mud Volcano"

This area of the park has a walkway to keep patrons on the path and away from some of the dangers.

Beautiful valley with the Yellowstone River winding through it.

Trumpeter Swans that are native to the river. 

Yellowstone River

Lower Falls on Yellowstone River

Upper Falls on Yellowstone River

Ranger Station at Northeast entrance to park.
Pretty valley on Chief Joseph's Highway

I'm sure I mentioned the highways in this area are deemed "open range" which means livestock are free to roam on the roadways. This herd of Black Angus cattle was in the middle of the road on Chief Joseph's Highway.

Cool entrance to ranch on Chief Joseph's Highway. The sign on the right says "Thanks Firefighters". We saw similar signs at many ranches. They really do appreciate the work and sacrifice of their firemen.

I love the pretty blue and puffy white clouds.

Beartooth Lake

Scenic area in front of Top of the World Store. We had to buy a few trinkets there!

Snow plow parked across the road from the Top of the World Store. It's not unusual for the area to receive snow even in the summer. The road is closed about half the year due to snow.

Here's my Chevy shot in front of Island Lake. The truck is covered in bugs and dirt and can't wait to get to Montana so I can wash it. I'd be ashamed for my good friend Ed to see it look like this!

Scenic view in front of Little Bear Lake.

On top of Beartooth Pass! Beautiful view and gorgeous day!

Also on top. This group of bike riders are from Belgium and were having a blast. They flew into the US and rented the bikes and are touring the country.

Here's the elevation on top. Notice the boiling point of water at this elevation which is 192 degrees. I believe it's 212 at sea level.

View from an overlook on the way down into Red Lodge, Mt. It's a long way down!
Back in Cody, we ran across this field of sunflowers.

Very pretty.

Entrance into Old Trail Town on west side of Cody. It's basically a collection of old cabins and buildings from the old western days that have been relocated here on the site of the original "Cody City" in 1895. 

I thought the bell in the foreground against the mountain background was pretty cool.


  1. Great photos, Joe. I almost feel as though we were there!

    1. Thanks Mike. It's easy to be a good photographer when you have great subject matter!

  2. Wow! Wow! Loving seeing your great pix of the places we've been and enjoyed so much. Traveling vicariously. Yellowstone is another world. I have many of those same pix. Glad they still do the music review. We loved the sunflower fields!!!! So glad y'all got to see them!! Be safe & keep enjoying. Betty