On our way to Cody, Wyoming we made the decision to drive through Yellowstone. It wouldn't add that much time, but it would add a lot of interesting on our drive - so why not? Exactly. Other options just left a lot of things already seen and monotonous Interstate highway. So after our night in the Cody are we drove West to and through The National Park of all National Parks - Yellowstone.
Leaving Cody, Wyoming you first pass Buffalo Bill dam and its reservoir. Which is a sight to see. It is beautiful, and a reminder about how everything in this area is named after one man.
Was no one else in the region ever even a little bit go getter? I love the concept of the hero figure, but when you see one man's name on everything it leaves you wondering if he truly was the only guy to name everything after. Or if there was something else going on. Here is a couple other shots from breakfast in the Powell, Cody regional area and our breakfast.
These goats above were found a few miles before entering Yellowstone at a campground with a Honey Bucket that I needed dearly. No other options within miles, I had to ignore the scene from a horror movie I found inside of it. The vision of flies and strange splatters all of over it in the daylight will haunt me for some time. But then we reached Yellowstone, and I was able to put it behind me.
So in all respects, Yellowstone is a giant volcano. Now, I don't know if anyone else has watched the History Channel or Lifetime Network version of Super Volcano! but they are always talking about Yellowstone, which, until I was sitting there in the passenger's seat, looking out the window at this National Park, it never truly dawned on me that Yellowstone most certainly is full on active volcano sitting in the middle of America. It is our little Iceland, except it is not an island. It is an island of wilderness in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, that if it ever erupts will cause a very large problem for most of America, and probably the world.
Aside from being active geology, the animal life there is phenomenal and plenty. It was the first traffic jam I have ever seen as a result of a great stag bathing himself in the river. I wish I had a photo of said great stag, but because the traffic jam, it seemed imprudent for us to stop too, just to get a photo of the once and a lifetime Disney film moment happening in the water just off the road. So it will have to live on in my memory alone.
We didn't see all of the things in Yellowstone. We took the fastest route through which did not include Old Faithful or Mammoth Falls, but we did see some geysers and springs, and buffalo, so it was good trip, and a huge improvement above going I-90 all the way.
And after the park we drove through a whole bunch of nothing to get to Missoula. In Missoula we stayed in the nicest and cleanest of hotels of our whole road trip, which was a perfect bookend to our first road trip night in Boise. Then, all of a sudden, it was the last day of the road trip - Missoula to Seattle with a little Idaho in-between. An easy day trip, even with the two stops we decided to add because neither of us had ever stopped to actually see what was actually at the Wild Horses Memorial and the Petrified Forest State Park.
In Idaho we stopped to take in Lake Couer D'Alene, and take in some breakfast with our time zone shift. I thought for a moment I might get both trout and zucchini bread for my breakfast, but I had to settle for bacon and zucchini bread due to the trout supplier not coming through that week.
Other than breakfast, there really was no other need to be in Northern Idaho so we kept heading West across the grand expanse of Washington nothing.
Until we arrived at Wild Horses Monument and realized that it was a pretty steep walk to reach the actual horses. So I just took selfies over the gorge and posed Princess Charlotte majestically for the sake of the Instagram feed. My iphone camera does not do the wild horses justice, but it was nice to actually stop and look at the monument.
Once you cross the bridge over the Columbia River you are essentially (and in the context of our long drive) home. But we made one more stop amidst the giant windmills to visit the Petrified Wood field - to find that it too was closed but there were some dinosaur statues outside the gift shop. The hikes through the State Park were not closed, but we were unprepared to hike with flip flops and a chihuahua through a state park - so we made for the highway. One more pass to cross, and Seattle awaited. It was all downhill from here.
Great Southwest Road Trip Summary:
10 National Parks and Monuments
2 women and a chihuahua in a car and hotel rooms together for 336 hours and we all still like each other.