5 Days in The Rockies

04 June 2016

A lull in the bad weather (at least reachable bad weather) meant time to enjoy the mountains and the sights of the northern US. Geological wonders, fearsome animals, campfires, hammocks, cabins in the woods, Milky Way skies, BBQs, hot tubs and amazing memories made. Here are the highlights...

Sat 4th - 564 miles

Realising that there was little to chase for the foreseeable future, we decided to head to The Rockies - potentially Yellowstone in Wyoming for some mountain air and maybe bears! Broke the record long single road journey up with a stopover in Grizzly Bear campsite near Rapid City, South Dakota. It was dark when we arrived but we still managed to cook the best campfire potatoes ever. With amaze beans. Obvs. Didn't see any bears.

 a long way

 Sun 5th - 224 miles

Woke to the rap of a grumpy ranger's hand on the car window as we'd inadvertently parked overnight in a reserved pitch. Apologised and headed off in the direction of Yellowstone. Met some amazing horses on the way. Whist picking some grass to feed some of them, I accidentally clenched my fist around a massive wasp who then stung me. Put a brave face on in front of the horses and saw that the Palomino also had a swollen eye, maybe from a wasp sting too. Stupid wasps. Also stopped via 'The Heads' in Mount Rushmore and Devils Tower which was epic. Made friends with prairie dogs. Made it to a great campsite called South Fork, outside Buffalo, Wyoming where we tested our new camping chairs. Arrived just as sun was setting and once again, nailed the potatoes. With amaze beans.

The Heads 

The Herd

Black Horses

Us at Devils Tower

Prairie Dog

Us at campsite

 Mon 6th - 321 miles

Spent the morning in a Hammock - my own hammock - newly purchased along with camping chairs. This hammock is going to improve my life no end. In fact, it already has. There are very few other better places to be than in a Hammock in a Ponderosa pine forest! Went for a little walk up the hill to see the amazing views over Big Horn National Forest before heading to Yellowstone. Stopped for lunch in a park near the ranching community town of Ten Sleeps - named so as it was 10 days' travel, or “10 sleeps,” from Yellowstone National Park to the Indian Agency on the Stillwater River in Montana. Had lunch next to a really big tree in a park where chickens roamed free. Stopped at Walmart in Cody and found Bubba burgers for sale - probably not a patch on my Buba's burgers (bless her and her amazing burgers). Also found some veggie options for tonight’s campfire treats at our pre-booked rented cabin in the woods. Drove through Yellowstone - danced around the lakeshore on Musty, found some stinky fumaroles and dusty Bison and made it to the cabin in time for a hot tub and BBQ.

Hammock

Lunch tree

Bubba burgers

Yellowstone initial lake

Musty and lake

The Cabin

 Tues 7th - a long way in circles

The cabin was bliss and we lazily mooched around before heading to the Park. Braved the tourist hell of the Mammoth Springs, rewarded ourselves with an ice cream and then hiked up Bunsen Peak. Half way back down, spotted a bear in the distance. Ran down the rest of the mountain, but were a little too late to get good sight of the bear and her cubs. Another night of BBQ, amaze beans and hot tub action before attempting to shoot the Milky Way. Clouds were being a bit of a pain though - stupid clouds.

Mammoth Springs

Tim 'welcome to the world'

Us on Bunsen

Firepit

Milky Way

 Wed 8th - more circles

Tried to get an early start but bear proceedings got in the way. Saw the same Grizzly of yesterday with her 2 cubs - but so much closer this time. Amazing and scary! Hiked for 9 miles on limited food to a secret waterfall. The sound of the falls drowned out our grumbling bellies but at one point on the return journey we thought the sound of our bellies was a bear was after us. No more bears that day, but saw elk, squirrels, marmots, a coyote (sighted as a Wolf from an over eager family)  and some Bison with babies. On the way back to the cabin, via some more Geysers, we checked the forecast and there was a considerable storm risk about 4 hours to our north tomorrow. Great - the storms have returned. Let's do this!

morning elk

bear & cubs

waterfall

view from waterfall cliff

squirrel

marmot

norris gey field

wolf

bison herd

bison calf 1

bison calf 2

 

 

 

 

note to selves - still need to do Old Faithful Geyser and Canyon and east side and astro in the north.

 

SPC Day 1 Weather Outlook as at 06:00UTC (01:00 Central Time the night before)

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Sat June 2016

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Sat June 2016

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