Gardiner Montana to Boise, Idaho
Old Faithful, as viewed through the
window of the Old Faithful Lodge
|Driving through the Yellowstone Arch|
My first visit to Yellowstone National Park was in 1957 and I'm afraid to admit that I really can't recall it. But I've been back to Yellowstone many times since and had the opportunity to explore it with Linda and then with the family.
Clock and Fireplace inside
Old Faithful Inn
Every time we been to Yellowstone we have camped. It seems like this is the best way to see it, however, one of these days I'd like to spend a couple of nights at the Old Faithful Inn or at one of the other beautiful hotels at the Park.
|Old Faithful Inn, built by the Northern Pacific Railroad|
Yellowstone National Park is America's and the world's first national park. It is said to be one of the best ideas that America has ever given to the world. That is really saying something, considering the many good ideas that originated in America.
|Exterior detail of Old Faithful Inn|
|Interior of Old Faithful Inn|
Of these two sources, it was the railroads that really did the heavy lifting to bring about the national parks. Had it not been for lobbying by the Northern Pacific Railroad, Yellowstone National Park would not have come into being when it did. The Northern Pacific Railroad lobbied Congress for the creation of Yellowstone National Park. It undoubtedly also assisted in drafting the legislation which created the Park.
In my pony, ready to drive
|Inscription above Yellowstone Arch|
During our short stay at Yellowstone we were struck by the large numbers of foreign tourists. Visitors from Europe and Asia have embraced Yellowstone. Last year 4.5 million visitors saw the sights. It seemed to us that approximately 40% of the visitors we saw were foreign. It also seemed that a significant portion of those tourists wanted to experience Yellowstone the way they understand Americans to experience the park. There were a great many rented RVs touring the park. Linda and I watched with amusement as a park ranger, through an interpreter, explained to two Asian men that the Park Police had received a large number of complaints about their erratic driving. He told them that he would let them go with a warning, but that he didn't want to hear any more complaints. They needed to slow down and obey the traffic laws. Having been in foreign lands, I felt for them.
Thursday, July 13 brought this vacation adventure to a close.
|The view with our coffee.|
We started the day as we had started so many others with coffee percolating on our one burner Coleman stove and a cup of coffee at the campsite. It was then time to break camp and head for home.
It has been a wonderful vacation. We were gone for 44 days and traveled 7,783.5 miles, using 307 gallons of gas. We changed the oil and the beginning of the trip, and twice on the road.
I would not trade the experiences that we've had for anything in the world. This is a big beautiful country. The people that we've met have been, almost without exception, extremely kind, thoughtful and polite. Folks went out of their way to tell us about the beauty of their town or their state. They asked if there was anything they could do to help us enjoy and wished us "HAPPY TRAILS". It was fun to add some of them to our blog. We've had over 15,000 views of the blog from all over the world. Thanks to all the readers for letting us share our trip.
It's nice to be home with indoor plumbing, a handy shower, and to greet our dog Chester, but I also find myself thinking about the next road trip....
|Home sweet home.|
Monday morning I fly to California to pick up the Ranchero and drive it home.