US Trip 2017 – Day 17 – Yellowstone

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The route this day took us from Grand Teton National Park, through Yellowstone National Park and up to Choteau, Montana. A long day, with huge variations in both temperature and landscape.

Approximate time on road/out caching: ~14 hours
Total miles driven: 370 mi / 595,5 km
Total cahes found: 24
Total DNF: 0
States visited: Wyoming, Montana
Famous places visited: Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful
Most memorable cache: GC3EMBZ White Dome Geyser Earthcache
Biggest surprise: How cold it was in the morning
Weather: Sunny
Highest temperature: 90°F / 32°C
Lowest temperature: 34°F / 1°C
Roadwork: Yes

Is it winter already?

We got up early as usual, and was ready to leave before 7am. As every other day on this trip, we dressed for warm and sunny weather. Oh boy. The cold really hit us hard when we opened the door. The temperature was right above freezing, and probably had been below during the night. At least the car had been below…

Magical

The cold weather mixed with the sun really made some magical landscapes along the road to Yellowstone. And we had to stop several times just to take photos.

Old Faithful

The first stop we did was at the Old Faithful. We’ve found the cache here several years ago, but how can we visit this part of the park without stopping here again? We can’t.

We checked the predicted eruption time, and figured out we could do some shopping in the gift shop first.

We were definitely not alone here today, but we did find a great spot to stand. And we got the whole thing on video 😀

Black sand

We have found most caches in this part of the park before, but for some reason we didn’t stop at GC58M5Y Black Sand Basin the last time we were here. So we had to do that this time.

There’s one thing you can’t ever forget after visiting Yellowstone. And that’s the smell of Yellowstone. The intense smell of rotten eggs, the smell of sulphur.

Another eruption

The next cache was GC3EMBZ White Dome Geyser Earthcache. And just as we parked, this happened:

After spending a few more minutes here, finding the answers to the cache, it was time to head out of the park. We just had to stop at another visitor center first, to get another stamp in our park passport and stamp books.

Heading north

After stopping for gas in West Yellowstone (which is where we stayed the two previous times we visited Yellowstone, in 2014 and 2015), it was time to head north. We still had a long way to go. We didn’t have too many caches planned, just enough.

The weather was great, the temperature rising and we didn’t have to struggle with traffic. Life is great!

Another GeoTour

We eventually made it to Helena, where we had planned to find a couple caches in the Helena GeoTour. We have no intentions on completing this GeoTour, at least not on this trip, but we enjoy finding caches like this whenever we can. Who knows, maybe we’ll qualify another year.

Roadwork, again

We had to drive through a lot of road work on the way from Helena, but at least the traffic was almost non-existent. That’s another thing to love about this part of the country!

Red sun

While stopped at GC2Q1RE Wolf Creek’s Oasis it almost looked like it was sunset already. But that wasn’t supposed to be until a couple hours later. The sun was way too high anyway. It took a few seconds before we figured out that it was smoke that caused this. Smoke from nearby forest fires.

Just one more county

After a few more cache stops, we decided to go ahead and do the detour we had as an option in our plan. A detour to get a cache in Cascade County, GC6PCKN Fort Shaw. We enjoy collecting counties, and this was our US county number 505. Not bad for a couple from Norway 😉

The real sunset

We got to see the real sunset, not just smoke, as we drove into Choteau. We found a couple caches (one planned and one bonus), and then we headed to the hotel. It’s amazing to look back at the pictures, and see the extreme changes in landscape throughout this day.

Pictures

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