Burnaby to Bozeman

Trip Start Jun 22, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Caravan is over and we are back to American soil.  No more converting kilometers to miles and liters to gallons.  But we are back to hot weather.
We left Burnaby and crossed the border with no problems on Friday.  We motored down I 5 to I 405 to I 90 and headed east through the beautiful Cascades.  Then we hit the high desert of central Washington and everything became brown and dried up.  We caught I 82 and dropped south to Pasco to spend the night.  They were having Unlimited Hydroplane races on the Columbia this weekend and the campground was very crowded.
Sat. morning we continued south on I 82 to pick up I 84 in Oregon and continued into Idaho roughly following the Snake River to Twin Falls.  I hadn't planned this but the route follows the old Oregon Trail.  Those people had to be tough because the idea of driving a covered wagon across this terrain is incredulous.  One ravine after another, up a mountain, down a mountain;  I find it hard to believe more didn't die in the attempt.
Sunday 7/29 we left Twin Falls and headed for Pocatello to catch US 20 for West Yellowstone.  The Snake River Valley was more agricultural here with lots of irrigated fields, mostly potatoes.  I was surprised to find US 20 was a flat 4 lane highway for most of the way to West Yellowstone.  When we got close we hit mountains and US Forest land.  We also were watching a steady stream of traffic come down out of the park.  At West Yellowstone we picked up US 191 North which ran all the way to our KOA in Bozeman (actually Gallatin Gateway).  This was a beautiful drive that followed the Gallatin River most of the way through a canyon.  Lots of people fishing, rafting, kayaking, etc made the drive interesting.  When we got to Bozeman we got checked in and when it cooled down some we used the hot tub and pool.
The main reason we came to Bozeman was to pay a visit to Bill Thomas whose wife Pat had passed away last year losing her battle with ovarian cancer.  Pat had been my greatest mentor regarding genealogy and we had stopped to see them in Bozeman in 2001.  They treated us royally that week we were there and we had greatly appreciated it.  So, we had made arrangements to meet Bill for breakfast at Perkins and spent two hours visiting.  Then we took a two hour break, I got a haircut, Donna visited two quilt stores, and we went to his house about 1:30 where we visited until 5 when we went to the Montana Ale House for dinner.  This was a neat place as it was formerly ta railroad depot and had been nicely transformed.  After dinner Bill gave us a driving tour of the Bozeman area.  We had a very pleasant day and I think he enjoyed the company.  He is 84 and has been alone for a year and 1/4 since she died.  His kids live in Vail and Nevada and aren't around much.  We wish him well.
This morning we left the KOA a little later than usual for our drive to Cody.  We decided to backtrack the route we had used to return to Bozeman from Cody in 2001.  Driving east on I90 to Livingston we exited onto US 89 for Gardiner, Mt and the North Entrance of Yellowstone.  This took us down through Paradise Valley which follows the Yellowstone River.  Again, much fishing and rafting on this river.  From Gardiner we entered the park and took the Grand Loop Road across the northern part of the park to the Northeast Entrance.  We saw hundreds of bison in the Lamar Valley, elk munching on the lawns at park headquarters, pronghorn antelope, deer, and, finally, a grizzly bear.  We had stopped at a turnout for lunch and I walked back to the bathroom and opened the blind and immediately saw this good sized grizzly coming down the north slope.  Unfortunately he was about 200 yds away and when some cars stopped he turned and headed away from me before I could get the camera ready.  I tried a telephoto shot but we'll see how it came out.  After leaving the park we took Wyoming 212 east to Wyoming 246 which is also known as the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway.  I had remembered this as one of the most scenic roads I had ever been on and it lived up to my memories.  We arrived at Cody, checked in, and did a grocery refill.  Tomorrow we will most likely be at the Cody Museum Complex.
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schilling on

Photos have been great. Enjoy the museum at Cody, it's excellent.

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