Saturday, July 2, 2011
Day 31-July 1, 2011- Yellowstone WY/Livingston MT
Etta and I are situated for two days at Pine Creek Campground on the outskirts of Yellowstone Park in a high and deep pine forest in the Absaroka Range of the Rockies. We’re beside our tent, warned earlier by the forest ranger that a bear was sighted on the grounds this morning. This is unsettling, but we’ll hide our food in the car and put away the trash in the bear-proof bins. Its in the 40's again at daybreak.
This is Nancy and Ed from Bozeman who are camped at site #19, near my site #25. Nancy was a travel agent and gave me some tips on what to see in Yellowstone tomorrow. They suggested I leave at 6AM (that won't happen), and beat the 4th of July crowds that will be at the park (groan). They gave me some guide books, a Montana map and Ed helped me set up my tent. They offered me some food, but I’m sticking with the pp&J.
I’ve been sampling the beers along the way. Today I picked up a 6-pack of Big Hole Brewery’s Headstrong Pale Ale out of Belgrade MT. In Portland I tried a selection of 4 local beers/ales from Widmer Brothers Brewery.
The landscape here at the campsite is chest-thumping. Black Mountain, at 10,941 feet looms behind Etta and I. Mountain snow is melting and feeding the Pine Creek that runs near my campsite.
Etta investigated its white water rapids. The sound is a pure, surging white noise mixed with bird calls. Pine Creek feeds into the Yellowstone River, and that too is swelling its banks.
In this picture it is roiling towards Yellowstone Park, flooding a few low-lying homes.
I shot this vista of the Absaroka Mountains on the road up to the campground.
It’s been a day for relaxation from “the Road”. Etta and I said goodbye to the mosquitoes at Lewis and Clark Caverns around 9 am. We bypassed the 2 hour cave tour, and headed toward our rustic campsite at Pine Creek...only 1-1/2 hours away.
I made a tiny detour, and discovered the Leaf and Bean coffee shop in downtown Bozeman MT, supposedly once owned by Glenn Close. It has Wi-Fi and good brew. Bozeman is the home of the University of Montana, and of course, has coffee places and neat shops, book stores, restaurants, a food co-op, and free parking downtown on its historic Main Street.
I poked around the town at a leisurely pace, had a picnic lunch with Etta on one of the tables in the backyard of the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture, and recognized Ted’s (Turner) Montana Grill. It makes sense that his restaurant would be here in Montana, its namesake, as well as at its location in downtown Decatur Georgia, near Atlanta where Ted lives.
That's it folks for my R&R day. Tomorrow I enter the big Y-Park and am prepared to have my eyes popped, and my jaw drop if all I hear is true.