Bolting thru Yellowstone

A traveler can reach the Grand Tetons any number of ways. North. South. East. West. We chose the east entrance to Yellowstone with a sharp left at an intersection that headed us due south and out the entrance to a mosquito infected, dusty campground just outside the boundary of Yellowstone on the John D. Rockefeller Roadway.

Two thoughts. Why is the road named after John D. Rockefeller? And why did we make reservations at such a dusty campground? Don’t know the answer to the first question and can’t google it because, well, there is no service of any kind here. The answer to the second question is that we waited too long to book our reservations (think March) closer to the Grand Tetons. So, here we are.

Bolting through Yellowstone was a bit sad. So many trees are dead either because of the beetle or fire. The forest in large swaths of the park are gone and old trunks are strewn over the hillsides like pick-up-sticks. If one can ignore that (I can’t), they will enjoy the drive. On the flip side of this, we enjoyed the spectacular Yellowstone River, Snake River and Yellowstone Lake. With snow-capped peaks framing the Lake, it was back to the future for me. As many of you know, I waited tables at Lake Hotel on the shore of Yellowstone Lake when I was 19, and dare I say, a virgin.

But I digress.

Yellowstone has a special place in my heart. It was here that I arrived by train from San Luis Obispo to Pocatello, Idaho in my sleeveless frock only to disembark the train in 6 inches or so of snow. A bus was on hand to take all the young college students just like me to our respective assignments in the park. No one drove, except the older guys. So cars were not in abundance. Therefore, we summer employees without cars hitch hiked wherever we wanted to go. It was an innocent time, then. Usually we were picked up by families who often times took us to lunch. And we regaled them with stories of things that happened to us at the Park.

As an example, a moose wondered into the lobby once. It was hard to remove. Damage ensued. And then there was a time when this sweet, young, innocent belle from the bible belt called in her order to the morning cooks (most of them from San Diego and all guys). “Three orders of blueberry pancakes.” One of the cooks in a straight deadpan replied, “Oh, we’re out of blueberries today. All we have are dingle berries.” So, the belle from the south returned to her guests seated at the table in her “station” and explained that the hotel was out of blueberries but that they had dingle berries. To which the patron replied, “I think they are pulling a fast one on you. Go back and tell them we will take blueberries.” I’m fairly certain that the peels of laughter emanating from the kitchen were heard by all in the dining room. As an aside, I didn’t know what dingle berries were. Someone had to explain it to me too. One thing is for certain. I never believed anything the kitchen crew had to say after that episode.

So, it will be fun to go fishing on the Lake like I did that summer. And catch trout, like I did that summer. And because of all these darn mosquitos, we may have to pay to have the trout cooked for us because Rayman has made it perfectly clear that he is absolutely certain that every mesquito in the state of Wyoming is on his trail. He has already pronounced that we must update our benedryl (it might be less potent because it isn’t brand new), spray outside our door, and cover every inch of our bodies when leaving the Dog House. Poor dear.

But I wander off again.

When we entered Yellowstone today, we hadn’t gone a mile and there were two bears working the roadside area. We stopped and I snapped this picture. Then I saw a moose, but Rayman was going too fast to stop on a dime and I missed the photo op. Hopefully, there will be more.

So, tonight we will read, work puzzles, and pet the dog. Tomorrow we will get up early and head to the Grand Tetons. We will spend the day there lapping up the views, walking the streets, seeing where we will meet up with our Snake River flouting people (that’s Wednesday’s treat), and generally have a great day.


More to come.

Leave Comment