Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's still how far?

After eating the standard hotel breakfast we headed back to I-90. I had it in my mind we were closer than we really were to Yellowstone. Luckily we only had a short stretch of interstate before we turned off onto US Hwy 14 towards Cody,WY.

Once off I-90 the climb into the Bighorn Mountains began. The climb was steep with switchbacks, finally scenery and I can't look without driving off a cliff. We passed through some road work that seemed to be widening and straightening the highway then back to lots of forest. Somewhere along the descent we came to Shell Falls, a visitor center and walkways overlooking the falls. Once the boys had their purchases made I had to ask the rangers staffing the center how the commute to work was, we seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. It turned out they were husband and wife. They told us that they camp at the ranger station and had worked there for 19 seasons.
Leaving the Bighorn National Forest, the landscape started to become flat again. This red rock formation in the picture was the last highlight for some time.

Unfortunately I was right, we were in the middle of nowhere and about to find out what a pilot car was. We got stopped in Shell,WY for road construction, I have to say the three times we got stopped on the trip the crews were friendly. After a 5-10 minute wait we followed the pilot car 10 miles through no visible construction, the shoulder looked as if they had oiled it but that was it. There were guys stationed at roads that couldn't have a handful of cars ( I should say 1ton pickups) on them all day.

On to Cody for the Sierra Trading Post outlet store. Kevin took particular interest in the bear spray rack, they could do without the picture of the guy bleeding. We had purchased a canister at REI at home but Kevin was comparing canister size and reach. I think he got the fear of bears from me, I got it from too many bear attack issues of Outdoor Life magazine as a kid. I'm happy to report our spray went unused. Following the shopping was a snack lunch in the car.

The road from Cody to Yellowstone is very nice. President Teddy Roosevelt called it the 52 most scenic miles in the nation.

Up next 22 hours in Yellowstone