We left the Tetons On July 15 and headed to Bozeman, Montana where we met up with our son Jake and attended his friend’s (also named Jake) wedding. Bozeman was mostly about visiting family and catching up on internet and laundry, although we did take the time to go to Norris Hot Spring.
Norris was a great day
The drive from Bozeman to Norris is beautiful and then we get to a dry dusty parking lot and walk into the pool, surrounded by flowers and hills and statues of Buddha plus organic lunch offerings.
After five days we headed east and north to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Along the way we stopped at Pompey’s Pillar National Monument — where William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) camped out. Even though we had several hours to go, I told Terry that it was important that the journey be part of the adventure and that we needed to stop. He agreed.
This was one of those nerve wracking side of the road stops on the highway, but it meant a lot to Terry.
This flower spoke to me as I snapped Terry in front of the Terry, Montana sign
William Clark stood on this rock, carved his name into it and wrote in his diary that the mosquitoes were horrible — kept him up all night. We saw nary a one. It was probably too hot for them. It was definitely too hot for me.
We made it — and saw what William Clark saw.
I was already regretting our rash decision to climb at high noon, but Terry could not be deterred
The stop was nearly a fatal error because it delayed our arrival at Theodore Roosevelt NP by about an hour, and we almost didn’t get a campsite. This would have been a real bummer, since it was five miles into the campground from the entrance, on a twisty pot holed road, and we really didn’t want to have to turn around. We managed to squeeze into the tiniest site in the campground and collapsed.
I love the shape of this mound
Next morning we went looking for a different site, and I was so intent on finding one with a view that I didn’t stop to think that, when it is 95 degrees and no electricity for air conditioning, shade is more important than the visuals. I will definitely remember that in the future.
Anyway, for now I’ll gloss over how hot it was and how we suffered, and concentrate on what was the most important part of our stay — Buffalo!
Buffalo were everywhere — alone and in herds.
We needed to pass through Yellowstone both on our way to and from the Tetons and each time we were ecstatic to see a buffalo (interchangeably called bison). in Theodore Roosevelt we saw herds of bison as well as individual bison.
Bear Jam near Signal Mountain Campground in the Tetons. We literally could not get through the road. Having just seen Lewis the day before we did not join the bear jam.
A word here about spotting wildlife. In Yellowstone and in the Tetons there were traffic jams when wildlife were spotted. It was pretty amazing that when we saw Lewis the Bear in the Tetons there was no one else around. And in Theodore Roosevelt there were other people watching the bison with us, but no traffic jams.
Spotting that bear so close to the place where I’d just been swimming made me a little nervous about hiking, especially on little used trails. It drove Terry crazy, but I would sing when we hiked. Other people carried bells and even played rock music. We never carried bear spray but many people did. We were skeptical as to whether we’d be able to use it effectively if (God forbid) we needed it. But I just read about some hikers in Yellowstone who did use it last year and lived to tell the tale. They sprayed and then played dead.
Anyway, besides bison we saw some wonderful scenery, but we needed to break our habit of hiking at noon — our second day in the park we actually left for our morning hike at 6 A.M.
Cone Flowers — We saw some in the Tetons when they were just beginning to flower. These were at their peak. I think.
Our sunset walk the second day ended here — before we turned around Terry spotted a herd of wild horses in the distance. I was thrilled to see them, and it also justified the binoculars I’d schlepped. They were too far away to take photos.
Before we left for our sunrise walk, I walked to the campsite across the road and snapped this photo. Next time we’ll make reservations and camp at this spot — it had shade AND a view.
We came home through Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and down through Toledo to the Finger Lakes. I’ll post more about that and I’ll also add some of Terry’s pictures AND his bison video at a later date.