Journal Entry: June 9th, 2009

I got up at 8:00 without a lot of motivation. Mostly because it was a travel day of 4 hours to get somewhere that we were going to spend a few days anyway. So I wanted to be ready to go more by osmosis than working at it. With a final prodding from Heather to finally go, we left at 10:30. A stop by the bank and Albertson’s grocery would allow us to proceed to Yellowstone’s north entrance.

We made good time, 3 hours and 30 minutes and showed them our Nat’l Park Pass. We stayed pretty close to the way we came in at Mammoth Hot Springs, we would have a few days to explore and didn’t want to drive much more on our half day. Besides, gas is 2.60 a gallon and 2.89 in the park. What very cool scenery, the mountains, geysers, rivers and hot springs are, you should really visit yourself sometime, describing the scenery here would be futile.

We didn’t know the game for picking a camp site and luckily got the last space at Tower Falls for $12.00 a night. Other campgrounds were $14, $18.50 and even $35.00, probably for RV’s. A better way to insure you have a place is to pick it early in the morning then you have something to go home to in the evening. With as many people as there are in the park, spaces can run out fast. We didn’t let that happen again.

We met John first. He was originally from the U.K. then moved to Australia 30 years ago. It wasn’t terribly hard to understand him, though he did pronounce geyser “Geezer”. I told him what geezer meant, without describing it as just an old man so he wouldn’t think it was him, but an old and crotchety man. He smiled, with yet another cultural pronunciation correction by an American.

It was John’s first time here and we told him it was our first time too. We talked a lot about the weather forecast and previous weather. He said he wrote in his journal that today had been the best weather in the last 3 days. We knew that the weather forecast was scattered thundershowers for the entire time we’d visit and we left for Yellowstone anyway, I’m glad we did, it really worked out; but we took our wet weather gear in case.

Next we met Zack. He was there half on business, half Yellowstone. He let Heather look through his guide book and a better map of the park so we could better navigate the 50 mile by 60 mile National Park for the few days we visited.

Sleeping in the back of an '09 Nissan Rogue wasn’t without its problems but sleeping under our tarp in bear country in a campground where bears would frequent feeding on sloppy camper’s food wasn’t my idea of a full nights rest either. It was warmer than outside too, just cramped. The windows were soaked the next morning with condensation but we were dry.

Without the windows cracked we were breathing deeper by morning to get oxygen at 8,000 feet. I didn’t want to crack the windows in case a bear could smell our food better. That wasn’t the case the next night, we took our chances with each window down a quarter of an inch. We slept a little better the rest of the time, but I’m 6 feet tall sleeping in a 5 foot 6 space and that got old before the last night. Still, we were in Yellowstone and had great time.