2020 Montana Road Trip: Day 8 & 9 – Yellowstone

Currently writing to you from a tipi we’re staying at. More on that in the next post. Days 8 and 9 were spent discovering Yellowstone. After a long drive from Coeur d’Alene to Yellowstone; we made it to the park in the early evening. It was dark by the time we got to West Yellowstone, so we stopped into a Chinese restaurant we found. It looked pretty authentic so we thought we’d check it out, since we’d been talking about how many Asian restaurants we had seen driving through Montana, even in these small remote towns.

We were pretty impressed by the quality of the food, so if you want some authentic Chinese food in Yellowstone, the Red Lotus has our seal of approval. Afterwards we walked around the town a bit to peruse its wares. Before long we decided to retire to our campsite.

We stayed at Canyon campgrounds, we had expected there to be pay showers, but due to COVID they were all closed. So, we had to be grungy again for the next 2 nights. But compared to needing to hike 6-14 miles a day, it wasn’t all that bad. Having flushable toilets and sinks was such a basic thing to have, but after the backpacking days, we came to appreciate even simple luxuries.

Both mornings, we cooked some instant ramen with some SPAM garnish before we went to go see the sights. It’s surprising how delicious you can make instant ramen with some simple additions. Though we didn’t do it, we discussed how the ramen would be a great food item for backpacking due to its lightweight and carbs.

Adam and Ben hadn’t been to Yellowstone before, but I visited back when I was 10 with my family. It’s amazing how much I remember about the park from then. We watched Old Faithful erupt, we walked around the upper geyser basin, went on some minor hikes, we saw some of the colorful hot springs and pools, we visited the Mammoth Hot Springs, and we drove and stopped at a lot of the overlooks to take in the vistas. A lot of it was familiar to me, but all of it was beautiful.

We found a bar & grill near the north Yellowstone entrance where we decided to have dinner the second night we were there. Almost the entire menu was bison or elk. I had an elk meatloaf while my companions both got the bison ribeye. The beer was good and the food was delectable. It certainly deserved all the good reviews it got on Yelp.

Unfortunately, our Yellowstone experience was a bit tainted by all the forest fires going on in California up through Oregon. The smoke was blowing in and made everything hazy. I believe there was even a forest fire that was occurring in Yellowstone (lightning-ignited Lone Star Fire). Just a reminder of how fragile our ecosystem is and how we need to all take care of our environment.


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