7:02 am - Tuesday - August 22nd - 41º F, humidity 69%, wind 2 mph out of the east southeast.....no clouds....forecast high in Gardiner, MT is 83º F and 81º F in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY.
We were in bed Sunday night a little after 11 pm and up Monday morning a little after 6 am......TOO EARLY! We had plans to depart YRVP* by 8 am in order to be at the Bunsen Peak trailhead no later than 8:30 am. There were to be three vehicles in all.....our VW, Roscoe and Geni's Chevrolet PU, and 'Dodge's (Kristen) Dodge PU.....we planned to continue hiking after the eclipse.....Roscoe and Geni did not.....'Dodge' had to be at work by 1:30 pm. At 8 am Dodge was no where to be seen, so we began the 20 minute drive up to the trailhead by ourselves hoping Dodge had gone on ahead......the drive up the Gardiner River Gorge and through Mammoth Hot Springs saw very little traffic......even less than we would normally expect that time of day.
We arrived at the trailhead parking lot at precisely 8:20 am to find 'Dodge' there in her Dodge PU saving parking spaces for us......if she had not gone on ahead we would have been parking on the highway, or down the road a ways.....thank you Dodge!
We were on the trail by 8:30 am hiking the 2.1 miles to Bunsen Peak......you never know what to expect in Yellowstone crowd wise, but my intuition told me most people had headed south towards Jackson, WY where there would be 100% totality for the solar eclipse. Nonetheless, as we began our hike, we did not know what to expect at the top. TLE and I made it to the top in one hour and ten minutes (9:40 am) to find we were the first ones there.....so my intuition was correct! Within 20 minutes another 25 or so people arrived and gradually spread out along the ridgeline to await the beginning of the solar eclipse.....it was not crowded at all.....
We spent the rest of the relaxing....since we only have one day off this week it seems wise that we chose not to add on another 10 miles of hiking, and take care of TLE's injured toe instead. By the way, she reports it is not hurting that much, and is well on the way to recovery for hiking next week.
Thanks for stopping by!
* YRVP = Yellowstone RV Park