Day 4: Yellowstoned

Map of day four travel
Map of day four travel

Yellowstone National Park has been on my bucket list for years, and I’d missed two previous opportunities to visit.  With this in mind, and looking forward with concern that the visit would not live up to expectations, I left Billings earlier than usual and without visiting the two sites I’d added to my list for the town because I wanted to spend as much time as possible at Yellowstone.  The park entrance was in Montana, but I shortly entered Wyoming during my driving tour.

(This was not my first visit to Wyoming.  In 2008, one of my nieces and I crossed briefly into the state during the first Goin West adventure–our visit to the Black Hills in South Dakota.  A couple, who were also there to tour Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, suggested we should see The Devil’s Tower since it was only about an hour’s drive further west.   Fortunately, we had the time, so we added it to that trip.  Gorgeous!!  As much as I wanted to see Yellowstone then, it was on the far western side of Wyoming, and there simply wasn’t enough time.)

Rather than being a disappointment, the beauty of the park was almost overwhelming.  Unfortunately, one afternoon was not even close to long enough to see everything.  Still, what I saw was, indeed, stunning.

I reached Old Faithful just a few minutes after it had erupted.  There were few people waiting around, and it pretty much stayed that way for about an hour.  Then, magically the estimated seating for five hundred was filled with people.

Simply put, the show was short but didn’t disappoint.

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I saw wildlife both entering and leaving the park. Bison walked the roads, and those of us in cars had to get out of their way.

RB and I rode back into Montana and made it as far as Missoula before deciding to stop for the night.  My intent was to reach Glacier National Park near the Canadian border the next day.  I During the night, however, I decided to forgo adding the extra approximately 240 miles to my trip and headed, instead, for North Cascades Scenic Highway.  This would place me in the position to opt either to go north into Canada towards Vancouver or to continue west towards Seattle.


The full range of pictures I took during the first six days of what I’m calling “North by Northwest-2014” is available at To see those from specific parts of the trip, click on the indicated regions on the map at the top of the album.


Music for the Trip

Even though I spent most of the day in the park, that didn’t mean the playlist stopped.  In fact, it served to enhance my experience of Yellowstone’s sights while I was there.  The day continued with the L’s, Louis Armstrong, Luther Vandross, Little Richard, Lady Gaga, Ladysmith Black Mambazo….

For the trip back into Montana, the playlist hit the early M’s, which are heavy with Marvin Gaye (I promised myself I’d minimize the number and length of “obsession sessiosn”–moments where I listen to the same song over and over and over again–because of the size of my playlist, but “Inner City Blues” has been one of my absolutely favorite songs since its release.  Still, I kept the session to one hour–unprecedented!!   This part of the list also has new entries by Melissa Etheridge, as well as standups Martha Reeves, Martha and the Vandellas, and Maroon 5.

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