Thursday, September 26, 2013

Farewell to Bozeman

 It has been a wonderful summer working at the KOA in Bozeman Montana. We are sad to leave. I'm sharing a few pictures of local scenes we've looked at on our frequent trips into town. The first picture is looking south as we leave the entrance to the KOA. The fields went from the tan color of last years' crops to a lush green with crops growing, and finally, to this golden stubble, the remains of an important farming industry.

 Downtown Bozeman is beautiful, a tourists paradise. There are no abandoned or empty buildings here, just a plethora of gift stores, restaurants, clothing stores and other businesses, all inviting. We especially loved going to the used book store, where we found some treasures to give to our managers' children who were frequently seen sitting outside the KOA office reading their books.

 The Bozeman Deaconess Hospital sits in the midst of wheat fields. This place is wonderful! All the staff we met were friendly, cheerful, and always spent as much time with us as we needed. They became friends! I especially liked that they brought therapy dogs into the waiting rooms occasionally. We will miss coming here! The attitude of the nurses and doctors here is as good as the medical treatments, maybe better!

We had planned a day to leave, the 26th of September, but were up and down on that as we watched the weather report. An early snowstorm was to arrive in the mountains west of Bozeman. Should we go or should we wait one more day when the sun was predicted to shine again? This scene convinced us. We are leaving on Friday, the 27th! We figured that if there is snow in Bozeman, the Homestake Pass just east of Butte, at 7000 feet, would definitely be a dangerous drive in our 5th wheel. So...good-bye Bozeman. We have loved getting to know you, and even more, your people. We hope to return someday!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Beartooth Highway

We'd been told many times that the drive over the Beartooth Highway is one of the most spectacular in the country, so we felt we couldn't leave this area till we'd done it. The shortest way to the highway involved going to Livingston and then down and across the top part of Yellowstone. We were lucky this trip to see several herds of bison.

I loved this guy, with his plump summer physique and soft, full coat.

Also well filled out from summer grazing, this handsome pronghorn showed no fear of us as he took his morning drink.

Shortly after we passed back out of the park and through Cooke City, we entered the Beartooth Highway and began our climb up to the 10,000 foot heights. I decided to take off my seatbelt and reach into the back seat for my sandwich and was startled by this awesome sight out the back window! Had I not been hungry I would have missed Pilot Peak! I love the shadow and sun effect. When we reached the actual viewpoint for this mountain, the clouds had moved and the photos didn't come out quite as well.

Charles Kuralt declared this drive to be the most beautiful in America. There may be some reading this post who remember him as a well known travel writer and TV host.  Though truly gorgeous and amazing, we have seen some places equally as beautiful. For instance I was reminded of our drive to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado. The heights are dizzying and the vistas are awesome. Here we're looking down on a tiny road leading to a pretty lake. Though we entered and exited through Montana, most of the Beartooth Highway is in Wyoming.

I had assumed that the name "Beartooth" meant simply jagged mountains, but there is one point that is actually the bear's tooth. In this photo you can barely see a single, tooth-shaped rock slightly to the right of the snow marker.

Here it is, a better view, along with more dizzying heights!

The whole area is filled with lakes captured and held by the crevices and stone cliffs. This one is particularly beautiful.
Here you can see part of the road we traveled, way down there in the distance.

Heading down the other side of the Beartooth Pass we found a way-side stop, the Rock Creek Vista Point, with a trail leading out to more spectacular views. I liked the colorful dead tree snag in the center.

These little guys have learned to beg during the brief summer season, and are rewarded by the tourists. He is eating a potato chip. In all, our drive was 367 miles from Bozeman, round trip, a giant circle. We were out for 10 hours, and arrived home very tired and very satisfied with our day trip. The Beartooth Highway has been added to our list of the most memorable sights we have seen and experienced in our workamping years!