Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 7: Our first glimpse of Yellowstone!

Our excuse for being behind on updating this time is that we were in Yellowstone Friday and Saturday nights with no internet or phone signal for the most part, followed by a 13 hour drive on Sunday. Normally that would have meant plenty of time for updating during the Sunday drive, but there's no 3G in the Nevada desert and I ended up driving for more than 8 hours so I was preoccupied. But the good news is that Brian ended up writing a post to get us back on track!


Well,  I thought I would be able to make it the entire trip without having to write a blog post, but alas, I have finally been goaded into it.  If nothing else it takes me out of the driver's seat….

Our campsite in Custer

Three days ago now, we did the long but reasonable drive from our campsite in Custer State Park to our campsite in Yellowstone National Park.  The day started early, apparently with Gail waking up and going to check out some bison that were wandering around near our campsite.  I have seen bison before, and deemed it not worthy of waking up.  I think she got some pictures, which I'm sure she will gladly put in when she publishes this and edits my awful grammar.  [ Done and done! -Gail ] 

A few bison were just hanging out by our campground eating some grass

We got on the road at about 0900 and made our way back towards our favorite road, I-90.  Just before we hopped on the Interstate we saw a carwash, and given the copious amount of cow waste that was coating the jeep we thought it wise to drive through, and hey! it got us ten cents off at the gas station.  So I pulled into the station to fill up and selected what I thought was the usual regular gasoline, failing to notice until i removed the nozzle that what i had actually just pumped into my beautiful Jeep was E30 Ethanol.  I guess that is more common in the midwest. Thinking it wouldn't be too big of a deal we proceeded to the carwash.  The GoPro camera mounted on my roof survived without a scratch, and probably with a few less bugs.  

The GoPro gets a car wash

After finishing there we pulled onto the highway, and almost immediately I began to notice the effects of the ethanol.  My available power was paltry at best.  Flooring it I couldn't for the life of me get the Jeep to accelerate to above about 75 and then I took a gander at the miles per gallon I was getting and realized that it had fallen to 12.6, GREAT!  Gail did a little research for me online while we were driving and determined that it wasn't really going to damage the car, just reduce power and increase fuel consumption.  With that fantastic info we decided to just keep heading towards Yellowstone.  Needless to say though, I felt bad for my Jeep, so I gave her some premium at the next fill up and now she's running great.  

Driving through Bighorn National Forest

The drive across Wyoming was rather unremarkable until we exited I-90 and headed towards Bighorn National Forest.  The drive over the mountain was absolutely beautiful, and was topped off with a stop at an amazing waterfall just before we exited the forest.  

  Picturesque Drive

We stopped in Cody, WY, for some more Sudafed and firewood before the final press towards the park.  We arrived in the park late in the evening as the sun was setting and enjoyed an incredible thirty mile drive from the park's east entrance to our campground at Bridge Bay.  

Welcome to Yellowstone!
Our drive skirted Lake Yellowstone, the largest high-elevation lake in the world 
with 141 miles of shoreline

After a lengthy speech from the ranger who checked us in on the importance of putting our food away in the car so as to avoid a Grizzly encounter we headed to our campsite.  It was a nice little site in a tent only section of the campground, I couldn't see or hear a single RV from where we were. 

Our campsite in Yellowstone

  Once we set up camp we threw dinner together, which was a hamburger helper, something mexican flavored.  Turned out pretty well for a camping meal, and since it was starting to get chilly (50-55) it was nice to have a warm meal.  After dinner and a bottle of wine we didn't last long before passing out with no alarm set since we were going to be in Yellowstone all day the following day!

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