Pretty Places Continued

Yellowstone National Park has four entrances, each beautiful in its own right. My favorite is the north entrance out of Gardiner, MT. That entrance contains the Roosevelt Arch dedicated to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. It was through that entrance that I entered the park this trip and it is where the new road was built and opened on October 22, 2023. Deb, Rex, and I spent a bit of time in Gardiner. We attend Mass there at St Willam’s and enjoyed a delightful breakfast after Mass at a small cafe tucked away on main street before heading back into the park to search for animals.

Gardiner, MT, built along the banks above Yellowstone River

We weren’t as successful finding animals as we hoped we would be. Early on we saw a mother black bear with two cubs, but no grizzlies. There was road construction going to Lamar Valley, the best place to see animals. We didn’t want the long waits with the one lane traffic.

ST WILLIAM’S CATHOLIC CHURCH. The first Catholic church in Gardiner was housed in an abandoned railroad boxcar.
Bison were seen everywhere
They could be seen in wallows churning up the dust
The bears we saw were very black and the mother had a pretty sort of up turned nose. They were beautiful and exceptionally healthy looking
I saw only about seven antelope in the park but herds of them on the way home through southern Montana

Parts of Yellowstone Park are not pretty. They are foul, dark, scary places and smell of rotting eggs. The worst is experienced in the Norris Basin. Often trails there are closed due to poisonous gas coming from the vents. Another of these repugnant places I can’t resist stopping to see when in the area is Dragon’s Mouth Spring . That place horrifies me and I imagine it as the gate to hell. Also near there are bubbling mud pots that stink of pig sty.

Dragon Mouth Spring
Putrid Mud Pot
This vent gives me the creeps !! It smells of rotted eggs !

In the visitor’s center there was a display telling of the acidity of various springs in the park which I found most interesting. The acidity of Canary Spring, for example, is the same as you find in milk. The acidity of some of the Norris Basin springs would burn the flesh off your bones.

I spent four days in Yellowstone. It was time for me to travel on to the Black Hills to visit Judy. Deb and Rex were staying there for a few more days. Since I would be leaving at the east entrance and not wanting the stinking Dragon’s Mouth to be my last memory we head east to spend time at Lake Hotel on the edge of Yellowstone Lake. I have always wanted to get a room at that beautiful place but it is now too late as the rooms cost nearly $500.00 a night, which I cannot afford. There are less expensive cabins but that’s not the point. It is the hotel I have my eye on. We had a wonderful time there playing cards near the bar, drinking beer, listening to a lady play the piano. People were have a great time visiting and some were dancing. A number of guests were curious about the card game we were playing. Everyone was very friendly.

The Lake Hotel has an interesting history. I will let you research that yourself if you are interested.
There is a huge space behind the hotel where we parked and spent the night with a vehicle as our room. We didn’t mind. It was lots of fun.

There are a number of outdoor areas. In the morning we sat out there and prayed the rosary in gratitude for all the blessings in our lives and for the well being of our families
The cabins look cute nestled in a group
It was exciting just walking down the long spaces
We played cards everyday when we had a chance.
The Hotel fireplace
The hotel is very close to Yellowstone Lake. People can easily walk there and enjoy a boardwalk with seating, but there is no access to the lake itself from that point
Good bye Rex and Deb, I had a wonderful time. Thanks so much for including me in another Yellowstone adventure. I have only one request. Please work on your card playing skills so in the future you can be more of a challenge for me. HaHa I had a blast. THANK YOU !

The Graves and I parted ways at that point and I drove east out of the park, through Cody, WY, making my way through beautiful, wild country of all sorts. I decided late in the day to get a place for the night. I was ready for a hot bath and a soft, warm, bed after five nights of sleeping in a vehicle. I found a little cabin to rent on the edge of Buffalo, WY for a reasonable price.

In the morning I stopped for fuel and a hot up of coffee. I climbed in my truck and continued going east. Hello, South Dakota, here I come.