Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Honeymoon - Day 4

Day 4 – Friday, November 30, 2007

Today Robert and I are heading to Yellowstone National Park. This was one of only a few destinations we deemed a must-see. Robert has never been and I have only been once. I couldn’t wait to see buffalo, elk, and maybe a wolf, a moose, or a rogue bear that hadn’t gone into hibernation yet.

Rexburg is about 90-miles south of West Yellowstone. We awoke at 6am and enjoyed a quick complimentary breakfast at the Super 8 Motel and were on the road by 7:30am. A little after 9am and in 14-degree weather we were in West Yellowstone parked just outside the entrance to the park. Unfortunately we are going to have to wait a bit longer to see Yellowstone. Because of the heavy snow, the West Yellowstone entrance was closed as were most of the roads in the park. Only the very northern section of the park was open, but it would have been out of our way to get there and we wouldn’t have been able to see much. Talk about disappointment!

But we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. We headed north on Highway 191 towards Bozeman instead. Highway 191 is on the western edge of Yellowstone and according to our map is actually part of the park. We got to see some wildlife after all! A lone buffalo was grazing in someone’s front yard, a coyote was curled up in the snow not far from the side of the road, another coyote ran across the road, and a bunch of Bighorn Sheep were licking up the salt alongside the highway. Very cool.

We cruised into Bozeman (or Boozeman as Robert likes to say) around 11:30am (temp. 14-degrees). It was rather funny, but while driving through Bozeman another driver cut us off. Guess where the other driver was from? California! We’d driven hundreds of miles only to be cut off by another Californian and it wasn’t just us he cut off, but quite a few people as he zipped through traffic. Jerk.

It was in Bozeman that I realized two things. The first being that UPS is everywhere! In almost every tiny town we traveled we saw a UPS truck. Just when we thought we’d found a town where UPS didn’t deliver, out popped that familiar brown truck from some side road. The other realization I made was I hadn’t seen a black person since leaving Las Vegas. San Diego is such a diverse city that seeing someone of another race or religion is common, but other than Native Americans or Hispanics, the predominant race we encountered was white.

To save time and because of heavy snow, we left the backcountry roads and headed east on I-90 towards Billings and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. We arrived at Little Bighorn with a little over an hour before closing time. We took a quick tour then took Highway 212 towards South Dakota. We made it as far as Belle Fourche (temp. 20-degrees) before calling it a night. Total mileage for the day: 578miles. Not too bad.

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