After an exhilarating day at Glacier and a restful evening in Kalispell we began preparations for our two day journey to West Yellowstone for two fun filled days of geyser watching and being consumed by mosquitoes.
As we were preparing to leave Kalispell I managed to wrench my back and ended up on the ground in agony. Great timing...I still had to take down the awning, unhook all the connections, pack the rig, and drive about 185 miles. Fortunately, after about 10 minutes the pain was manageable, though I was unable to bend over or lift anything. Kate had to do much of the work.
The drive from Kalispell to Deer Lodge took just over 3 hours. The scenery was beautiful and reminded us of the film "A River Runs Through It" nearly all the way. We arrived in Deer Lodge, Montana, at about 1:30pm. Deer Lodge is a quaint old western town with the Old Prison Museum and an historic western town as the centrepiece. There is also a museum featuring over 150 classic automobiles.
We had reserved a campsite in town and had been offered an "upgrade" by the manager the previous weekend. When we got there I suspected the upgrade wasn't going to work as we needed a "pull-thru" site to accomodate our 35 ft Bounder plus the extra 15 feet for the toad. All of the upgraded sites are back-in sites, which we can only do if we unhook the toad. We (I) prefer to simply pull thru the site and park. After a bit of confusion we were assigned site #3 and managed to make a tight turn into it and get hooked up. Kate made pasta w/ meatsauce for our first official meal cooked in the RV and then we played Yahtzee outside for a bit before trying to get Grace down to bed and settling in ourselves.
We headed out early Tuesday w/ a brief stop for supplies at Wal-Mart in Butte, MT. Our destination today was West Yellowstone, MT. We traversed some very scenic highways and even crossed the Continental Divide on I-90 East just past Butte and before Bozeman. When we crossed I pointed it out to Kate and she said "where is it, I want to see it!" I told her there isn't really anything to see, per se, it is just the point where rivers on the west side flow to the Pacific and rivers on the east side flow to the Mississippi or Atlantic.
We continued on across the divide and found ourselves heading into a powerful thunderstorm. The wind and rain kicked up so hard I couldn't believe it could blow my 10 ton RV around like that. Side to side and up and down as I fought the storm, feeling at times like a rodeo rider on an untamed bronc, until finally we passed the storm and settled in for an enjoyable drive to West Yellowstone. We arrived at our campsite just before 5pm and Kate began to make a crock of Mac-n-cheese for dinner.
While dinner was cooking we decided to take Grace for a stroll and walked downtown to browse the gift shops. We picked up magnets for each of the states we have driven through so far and aligned them atop the stove. We plan to collect one for each state as we pass through. Tomorrow we're off to see the geysers of Yellowstone National Park!
And here are some Glacier pic's...
The Weeping Wall
Grace enjoying some glacial runoff