27 degrees out and we gotta get an early start...Brrr. Even the FJR gives a bit of, whoa man thin my oil. Today will we head north in Yellowstone to Obisidian Cliff, back and head out the east entrance for Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and the Beartooth Path. From Red Lodge we head out I90 to US89 to White Sulphur Springs and if we are making good time maybe to Great Falls. Either place with an early rise the next puts us within striking distance of the Going to the Sun road somewhere around 11:30. So thats the plan and when traveling long distances, in unfamilar locales, one has to be flexible and go with the flo. This will prove to be an understatement.
The Pony Express Motel is located in West Yellowstone, MT right outside the entrance to the park. This a simple motel and if you don't need the newest and greatest accomodations, I would recommend this place. It has a blend of the 40's, 50's. The phrase In with new and out with old, would be in old, update, update, update. I acutually connected to their WIFI. What more could you ask.
The owners recommended Running Bear Pancake House. Said it was the best place in town. Probably the owner's brother. So off for a quick bite, especially coffee. Typical tourist place, high prices but goood food, 6.95 for 2 pieces of french toast with butter. That's pricey in my mind.
Breakfast done we follow this couple on BMW's into the park. Insignificant at this point. When we entered thru the gate, the guy told us there was an accident about 3 miles. We got a taste of Yellowstone in crowded conditions. It took us 30 to 45 minutes to travel 5 or less miles.
Finally passed the accident we head north on the Grand Loop Road for Obisidian Cliff, a National Landmark. Seeing Yellowstone in the morning is totally different visual experience than late day, evening.
We pass the sign expect up to 30 minute delays due to construction. It's Sunday and of course they won't be working. This is us waiting for the OK to go.
So now we are behind schedule at least 1 1/2 hours. We ride and ride, the Waypoint comes up arriving Obisidian Cliff. We keep going because this was an estimate on my part that I placed in MapSource. The topography in Yellowstone is very diverse. Tall mountains with trees, smokin geisers, tall mountains with burnt trees from the fire of 1988, high plateaus, massive lakes, small ponds, large river, tiny streams. Visually this place is not boring.
We having been traveling too far at this point and I decide to pull over and check the Yellowstone pamphlet map. My estimates are never this far off. The map confirms my suspicions. We must have drove right past the cliff. Turning around I pull up the WP and head back for Obisidian
Another overstated landmark ala Plymouth rock. But the ride has more than offset the disappointment of the particular site.
We are seriously behind schedule and figure Great Falls is out and we are diffently shooting for White Sulphur Springs. We will just start out earlier than planned tomorrow.
These guys keep getting closer and closer
Remnants of the fire of 1988
Last INK spot for Yellowstone. There are a total of 7 stamping locations in this park. Acadia NP in Maine has the same number
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Day 4