Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nomadic friends.....


6:49 am - Thursday - 48º F, humidity 50%, wind 4 mph out of the east.....partly cloudy with a forecast high of 86º F.

Wednesday we had vague plans to get out early and do some more hiking, but then we found out that our good Newell friends, Richard and Rhonda (currently on a 6 month summer/fall trip in their Newell), were over in West Yellowstone for one more day.  We made an on the spot the decision to drive over to visit with them for the afternoon.

We were in the car by 10 am.....early for us.....driving south on US-89 through Mammoth Hot Springs, and over to the KOA just a few miles west of West Yellowstone on US-20.  We made a couple of stops along the way see, first, the National Park Ranger Museum located in the Norris Campground.....

......the National Park Service was established in 1916 and took over management of Yellowstone National Park from the Army.  It is a small museum with a lot of information, plus a little movie theater where you can view multiple videos about the National Park Service, as well as the Norris Ranger Station, where the museum is housed.

Our second stop was along the Madison River which parallels US-191.  We last drove US-191 back on June 15th on our way north to Gardiner, MT following our orientation in West Yellowstone.  We didn't have time that day to stop and enjoy the beauty of the river and the valley it flows through.......

 Looking west

 Looking east

....there were a couple of 'fly fishermen' where we stopped for about 10 minutes to capture a few pictures.

We had planned to arrive at the KOA where Richard and Rhonda were staying around 1 pm, but traffic was better than expected and we arrived around 12:30 pm.  The friendships we have formed as a result of owning our 1982 Newell were the unexpected blessing of our purchase.  Whenever we get near any of our Newell family we make an effort to connect with them.  We spent a lovely afternoon talking about family, friends, our love of the nomadic life and marveling at how we can be apart for two years, and pick up as if no time at all had transpired.....

 Sitting in Richard and Rhonda's 1999 2 slide Newell

.....Richard made beef tacos for lunch which we consumed as our never ending conversation took its normal twists and turns.  All too soon it was 4 pm, and we knew we were in for a long drive home through the afternoon YNP crowds so we said our 'until next times' to Richard and Rhonda to begin our 60 mile drive back to Gardiner.  

The return drive actually went quite quickly until we hit the 5 mile construction zone on US-89 about 26 miles south of this point we had covered about 35 of the 60 miles home in about an hour.  Usually there is about a 10 minute wait in a traffic line while opposing traffic makes its way through the construction zone, and then another 15 minutes to traverse the 5 miles of mostly packed dirt roadway, but this day it took almost an hour to get through the construction zone as we were only moving at about 5 mph for most of the distance.  Then we arrived in Mammoth Hot Springs where there was an immense traffic stoppage due to an 'Elk sighting'......I have written about this phenomenon where one vehicle will just stop in the middle of the road so the occupants can take dozens of pictures of an elk, antelope, buffalo, etc. stopping traffic for up to 10 minutes sometimes.... the time we finally got through the Mammoth traffic jam and down the hill to YRVP it was after 6:30 pm......2.5 hours to drive a shade over 60 miles.....oy vey!  Nonetheless, we would not trade our few hours with Richard and Rhonda for anything.

Managed to capture this small sunset image for your viewing pleasure......

Well, it's back to work in a few hours (Thursday) for us......thanks for stopping by!

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  1. You're enjoying my neck of the woods...2-3 grade summers spent in park by the falls while Dad worked paving the roads. We had good friend who had cabins in Silver Gate. I went to school in Belgrade, worked sawmill in Three Forks, and spent two summers along the E Galitin River in various cabins. Schooled in Shepherd & Billings - from where we moved to BS. Gots lots of friends & family scattered all around that area. Love the summers there (only the summers!).

  2. I've been visiting or living in Montana for 40+ years and the Madison River Valley (Hwy 287) north to Headwaters State Park near Three Forks is my hands down favorite place.