Missoula to Grand Teton (Aug 9th – 15th)

With the car purring following its service we gave it no respite.  Original plan was to head straight to Yellowstone NP, but Richard spotted the site of The Battle of Little Big Horn up the road and we decided to visit it; what’s a 200 mile detour in the scheme of things!!  The drive there showed us yet more amazing scenery and the site itself is a thought provoking and fascinating place.

So a long day driving (again) but it was so worth it and we eventually arrived at the foot of Beartooth pass 30 minutes before it closed for the night (for road works) and with the weather closing in decided to stop.

We were in the queue as the gate opened and wow what a drive! The road climbs 5000 feet in approx. 6 miles and the views are spectacular.  It’s known as one of the best roads in America and certainly a mecca for bikers. montana 4Eventually, we descended and entered Yellowstone NP via the Lamar valley, home to herds of plains bison.  Having nowhere to stay, our plans were further scuppered by more roadworks and we spent a short night in the car, rather than on the car.  Suffice to say we were at the entrance for Norris Campground by 5.45 the next morning (1st in line) ready to get a legitimate spot for the next 2 nights. Rich & Colleen the camp hosts were wonderfully friendly and ensured we had a great spot.

Refreshed, by a night that dropped to 1 degree we hit the sights; more geysers than a London pub (ha ha), mud pools and hot springs.  En route to Yellowstone Lake, we stopped at a crowd on a hilltop and were lucky enough to see a pack of 5 wolves.  Suffice to say we were blown away by the beauty and scale of the park and its many varied eco-systems, all except Old Faithful!  We met the lovely Gil and Bastie and had a fun 2nd night over a box of wine, before heading off to Grand Teton the next morning.  For anyone heading that way, stop at Jackson Lake Lodge, we wished we had had lunch here instead of Colter Village.  Great views across the Lake to the Teton mountain range.  Wild camp outside the park that night was made more interesting by a passing squall that threatened to blow the tent off.  Whilst the weather was not exactly clement a hike must be done so we donned our water proofs and headed up the Cascade Canyon trail, 13 miles of alpine forest and meadows.  Refreshed by our weekly shower on the way out of the park we set off for Flaming Gorge.

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