Another day where I rose before the sun, only this time I had a massive drive planned. I was taking the long way so I could drive through Yellowstone. I wasn’t going to be able to see the Grand Prismatic Spring or Old Faithful, but I could swing past the West Thumb Geyser Basin. The route I planned was 534 miles so I didn’t plan on making a lot of stops.
The drive into Yellowstone was incredible, although there were large stretches that had been ravaged by forest fires which left ghostly tree skeletons.
I found the West Thumb Geyser Basin, which smelled awful! While I was there one of the geysers was erupting but just barely and there was so much smoke you couldn’t see it in my pictures.
After I stopped at the geysers, I tried to hustle out of the park. There were more buffalo crossing the street that held me up and I saw a sign for an overlook at a summit which lured me off track for a bit too.
After I left the park I realized I needed gas and I wanted to pick up a sandwich for my picnic lunch. I was passing through Cody and got redirected because their holiday parade was about to march through town. I pulled into a gas station and as I was filling up I met Sandy! She was admiring my car and we struck up a conversation. Turns out she’s from NW Indiana so we are practically neighbors! Also, she works in Chicago frequently. She was traveling with her daughter Maghan and her granddaughter Avery. We took some pictures and exchanged contact information so we can meet up for cocktails next time they visit Chicago!
After I left Cody, I ended up on the Bighorn Scenic Byway. It was a beautiful, twisty drive up the mountains and through Granite Pass.
Coming off the mountain was thrilling, very twisty with steep grades!
Tomorrow I am spending the entire day in South Dakota. I haven’t cemented all my plans but they will definitely involve free water at Wall Drug and a visit to the Corn Palace!