Sunday. We are right on the border of Idaho, they call it big sky country, which as we travel slowly translates as 'flat and nothing to obscure the view'. Evidence of which is found as I've mainly just looked at maps and photographed clouds. Then excitement as we buy and eat food again.
Bye-daho, and into Montana. Only briefly clipping the bottom corner of the state lines where it touches Wyoming, but I still stop and get a state map in West Yellowstone.
West Yellowstone is full of tourist shops, museums and information about Yellowstone National Park, and if you're none the wiser like me you could imagine you're in the place. A bit like the lake district maybe? Travel through and look for a place to stay for the night? Nope. Even with a map I'm totally unaware as to the type of place we are entering as we pay $25 on a toll road gate. It's like Jurassic Park without the dinosaurs. Our plan was to go and see the old faithful geyser then head on to find a place to stay for the night. We stop at an information centre...that turns out to be a ranger station. I ask the nice ranger about accomodation nearby and I sure she think's I'm kidding. She politely informs us the park is full and the only accom will be outside the park, and looking at her with her badge, wide
brimmed hat and immaculatley creased trousers I understand that her job isn't to give out information on accomodation, but really to advise nieve and optimistic English tourists on how to not get mauled to death by bears or eaten by angry elk.
It's so big We're not going to make it out of the park tonight so we decide to sleep in the car and are both gored to death by bears. End of Blog.
By coincidence the founder of Comedysportz Portland is here on a on a road trip holiday with his family, travelling in the opposite direction, and Bron has his number. He knows the park, tells us travelling the park at night is a very bad idea, then goes above and beyond the call of duty by putting us up for the night in his cabin accommodation, bang in the middle of the park on independence day week. I am humbled by his generosity as we go for food, and on the way spot a bear! His kids are into Manchester United and and Doctor Who, and I chat to his lovely wife Ruth as we sit on a wooden porch in rocking
chairs. I eat a bison burger.
God bless Patrick short. Had we not stayed here we'd have missed out. I knew the geyser old faithful was here, but it's a small percentage of the spectacular sights on offer. Bison, Elk, Geothermals, calcified rock faces, hots prings, mud pools and vast steam spouting pools where chemical reactions create brightly coloured landscapes that are hard to put into words.
The park is spread across the centre of a dormant volcano, you could spend a week camping here and not see everything, it's like the raw power of nature going off all over. My dad would love this. It's epic.