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Wonderful Wyoming! Montana Too

I hardly know where to start except to say that I am in love with the part of Wyoming we traveled through, and I've got the pictures to prove it. Seriously, it has been four days since last we met, and we have seen some beautiful scenery that I hope you will enjoy seeing as if you were along for the ride. Should you not have very much time, I suggest you wait until you do. Although I did my best to pare things down, there are a LOT of photos. But then again, how often does one travel by car more than 3,000 miles with their beloved?

Without further ado, let's get on the road with Bruce and Gail in both Wyoming, and Montana. Our first night, after traveling from Colorado Springs, we stayed in Laramie. I seriously underestimated the traffic on the road I selected, but eventually we arrived. Behind the hotel I was delighted to see that there were fields of wildflowers if one looked carefully. At first glance it merely looks blonde, but if you, like me, had to take the dog out back a bunch, you would have noticed them as well.
Plus, there were awesome little birdies hanging around on Christmas trees!!
Our destination, upon leaving Laramie, which seemed like a nice town, what little we saw of it, was Pinedale, WY on the road to Yellowstone. I could not get enough of the scenery on our drive on nearly deserted state roads.
Around every bend I found something to delight in.
In the above, I just loved the way the cloud shadows made the fields appear, well, I don't know how to describe it, but it was fantastic. At one of the rest stops, which had this sign, btw,
I noticed some young folks with a small boy and baby, two couples in their own trucks, driving caravan style from Georgia. In these parts, you don't see many Southern state tags, that's for sure. Anyway, I got to chatting with them (!), and learned they had made it as far as we had in but three days, with plans for camping in both Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Park. Good to be young, right? Anyway, lo and behold, here they were again at the next rest stop with the little boy on TOP of one of the pavilions throwing a football with his dad.
And that was that, we never saw them again. Onward towards Pinedale..
what I liked so much about Wyoming is that the landscape varied so much, including when we turned off the highway towards Pinedale and it looked like this.
Sorry, if it does not look so impressive in the photo...in person it was astonishing, or at least it was to this Florida gal.

We were absolutely delighted to find a pond and creek behind our hotel in the charming town of Pinedale. Those peaks behind the pond are part of the Wind River range and several of them are more than 13,000 ft tall!
We decided to stay an extra night in Pinedale because, not only did  Bruce have work to catch up on, but our little Baxie was not well. At first his failure to eat much did not cause too much alarm, however, combined with several bouts of diarrhea on the hotel carpet (!), we decided we needed to have him checked out. Let's just say it was a fantastic experience in a super old fashioned way. The vet saw him at 9:15 on the dot, did a thorough check, giving him a shot as well as some medication for the road. Both of us thought he'd lost weight and sure enough he'd lost a pound during the trip! The good news he is back eating and doing just great! Whew, one less thing to worry about, right?

I went out early for a sunrise photo, but lo and behold, it was sprinkling, only the second time during our ten day (at that point), trip.
Although the sun struggled to shine, it never happened that day. After Baxter's visit with the vet, I took off for a bit on my own, coming across this place.
I have loads more photos showing how cute it is but this will have to suffice. Further, this made me happy.
The vet told me I just had to visit Fremont Lake so I got up my nerve, driving up the winding roads and I'm super glad I did. If only it had been sunny...oh my!
One of the things I loved so much about Wyoming were the wildflowers everywhere....
Finally I convinced Bruce to quit working and head out for some exploring with me. The front desk folks at our Hampton were fantastic during our stay, especially one woman whose name I failed to take note of which is a shame because she was very influential on some of our choices. At any rate, she'd told me when we arrived that there was a moose in town with two calves, seen recently at the golf course which I dutifully checked when I went out in the morning with no success. WELL, in the evening, I told Bruce I wanted to check out this Pine Creek public entrance and when we turned down the road...well were we ever in shock!!
A local man who was also observing them said it was super unusual for a Moose to have twins so we were witnessing something really special. Again, loads more pics but, you know the drill. Needless to say, we were freaking out! Ask Nancy, who called just as we were seeing it...."I can't talk Nancy, in the middle of a moose sighting!!!"

Bruce tried his luck at the pond as sunset approached.
Reluctantly we left Pinedale, onward to Grand Teton and Yellowstone heading for the South entrance. In the distance I began seeing something that puzzled me from afar. Closer, well, you know what it is don't you?
Here we go...
The fog actually got quite thick, although it did not stop us. After a stop in Jackson for advice and park maps, we were in awe of the majesty of the Grand Tetons.
It was sunny intermittently, this was one of those moments.
Bruce was kind enough to turn back around as we missed the Snake River lookout. I told him, how often will I ever have the chance to stand in much the same spot as Ansel Adams? The trees have grown a lot since he took his famous shot of this scene. Tremendous in person.
Bruce was our wildlife spotter...the only bison we have seen to date.
The kind woman at the visitor center told me that last summer there was a wildfire near the South entrance to Yellowstone and we saw evidence of that at one of the rest stops where the wildflowers grew on the forest floor despite the burned ground.
And then we made it, as did these cyclists, asking that man to take their photos in front of the sign. We saw cyclists along the way, riding up the steep grades and I was very impressed!
Because we were on our way to Ennis, MT, our drive took us through the bottom of Yellowstone where mostly the crowds were not nearly as bad as we'd been prepared for. At one look out a couple asked if I would take their photo and asked if we wanted one as well. For this I am grateful because it turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself.
And then we were at Old Faithful just as it began to rain. Here is where all the people were!
Huge crowds all lined up for the 1:30, plus or minus 10 minute spouting. Bruce waited in the car with Baxter as pets were not allowed, although I did see multiple people breaking that rule. The only trouble was rain for which I was unprepared. These folks, with front row seats were prepared.
As the minutes wore on, the rain came down harder but I was bound and determined to see it go from this...
to this, which it did at 1:38 PM.
An amazing experience!  The parking lot was crazy full and hard to exit but eventually we were once again on our way, stopping here for some peace and quiet and a pee break for Baxter.
We saw but a tiny fraction of what Yellowstone has to offer; perhaps one day we will return to wonderful Wyoming. Wait....we can do it next year on our way home!
Driving on 287, we made our way to Ennis, MT, a place suggested by our fantastic desk clerk in Pinedale. The road there was mostly empty and dramatic at times as the road hugged a huge lake. So, so glad for my chauffeur.
Are you weary of the trip? I'm not! The town of Ennis is cute as a button...
and our accommodations even cuter. Holy Cow...
Finding the place online, I figured if we were going to be out West, we should have a log cabin experience.
Not only were the cabins super cute, the grounds were unreal.
Yup, a waterwheel and stream behind the cabins built beginning in 1948. Highly recommended. Because we've mostly stayed in chain hotels, I'd been wondering if Vacancy signs were still in use. This morning, the sign looked like this:
Today was a super short day, and mostly on the interstate, except for this part where it looked as if we would drive right into a mountain!
Tonight we are in Missoula, MT, headed who knows where tomorrow. We are about 850 miles to our destination, however, the condo will not be ready until next Tuesday so we shall see what we figure out for the next few days.

Hope you've enjoyed this little travelogue.

yours truly,

Gail

p.s. no editing which means I wrote it and clicked on publish without re-reading it.  Hope it is coherent, and if not, just enjoy the photos.





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