Day 23 - Lowman to Yellowstone National Park

Trip Start Aug 20, 2008
Trip End Sep 23, 2008

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Where I stayed
KOA Campground

Flag of United States  , Montana
Friday, September 12, 2008

Before we start, did we tell you how we prepare the Blog?   The main thing we want is for it to act as a live commentary to our family and friends, so we want it to be as up to date as possible.   This means a very disciplined approach, just like publishing a newspaper.   As we race along (remember we have 000s of miles to cover) amongst the oohs and aaahs, Chrissy takes notes and many of the 'on the move' photos.  Then, as we stop for the evening, Phil drafts the Blog and over dinner (and a good glass of wine) we pick the photos (some days we have over 200 shots to pick from).  Then, depending on where we are, we upload the latest news - simple eh, but it does take quite a bit of effort and would be so easy to let slip.
So, onto today's news.  We had a very quiet night, not hearing a sound, but feeling a slight nip in the air.  I guess the temperature does drop a little when you are over 6500 feet.   As we were not at an official campsite our morning routine was a little shorter than usual (no shower and no hair do!), so we got underway very quickly and soon started to be delighted with the sights.  Our journey followed Highway 21, 93 and 20.  We thought we had come across another fire, only to discover steam rising up from a hot spring - strange but the spring was warmer than our early morning wash in the RV.     We did see one area that had suffered a fire in 1989 and was still only just showing signs of recovery - apparently though such fires are necessary to keep the natural beauty of the area.   We saw a pair of Ospreys, nesting atop of a telegraph pole, Bighorn sheep, Elk, and even Antelope.   We stopped off in a small town called Stanley (popn 100) on the Salmon River and found a delightful coffee house that looked like someone's front room, but offered WiFi, which allowed the Blog to be updated.   We followed the Salmon River for over 50 miles and Chrissy scanned for sight of a leaping Salmon (it is that time of the year).   Sadly the Salmon were as elusive as the Moose and Cowboys.  We entered Ranch Country and were amused by the names they had:  Broken Wing, 6X, Big Horn, Crazy Canyon, Goose Creek, Lost River, 3 in 1 and many more, all of which looked like they were straight out of Bonanza.   It was a superb drive and we met plenty of characters on the way - we also noted that wearing a helmet on a motorcycle is not law in Idaho and Montana.   Our journey took us toward the town of Arco, close to the Crater of the Moon National Monument Park and the Idaho Experimental Center (where we believe that nuclear power was first provided to the local town), which looked like a cross between Area 51 and that place in the film where Close Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed (see the photos).  We them headed north on Highway 20, passing the place where TV was invented (funny, but after 3 weeks we are not missing the thing at all!) and eventually into Montana and West Yellowstone, where we met our first Park Ranger (tomorrow it should be Yogi and Boo Boo).   Another long day driving, but what a superb day full of experiences - we keep thinking we cannot top the things we have seen so far and every day we are proved wrong. Let's see what tomorrow brings
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