Yellowstone 2004

Diary of Linda and my trip to Yellowstone NP in June 2004 with Steve and Helen Biro

6/28/04 Felt horrible this morning after a very cold night at Fremont Lake, WY. It rained most of the night and everything was wet. I had to remove 3-1/2” of water out of the kayak on the trailer roof. Drove to Jackson WY and discovered that I had a flat trailer tire. Got it fixed at BIG-O Tire for $14. There was a screw in the tire. Continued on and ran into road work just before Yellowstone which held us up a ½ hour. We had to drive on single lane mud road for about 10 miles. Arrived at Fishing Bridge (175 long mile day) in Yellowstone NP about 4:00 p.m. and got the 5th wheel parked. It was cold and rainy last night, but SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED conceded to keep the 5th wheel furnace set at 65 F, so I wouldn’t freeze. The elevation here of 7,988’ is mildly effected my breathing, causing some shortness of breath. I guess I am getting old as I do not remember this problem last time I was here. We spent the day cleaning up the 5th wheel , doing laundry, and relaxing. We were to meet Biros at the Old Faithful Lodge at 3:00 p.m. but got the time zones messed up and missed them. We finally met up at 7:30 p.m. at the Old Faithful Lodge dining room where Steve had made dinner reservations. We had a very pleasant dinner and drove for one hour back to Fishing Bridge RV Park.

6/29/04 We met the Biro’s at the Lake Hotel for breakfast. We then all piled into our new Chevy 4 door pickup truck, picked up Meghan at the 5th wheel and headed for the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We encountered road work delays and Bison blocking the road along the way presenting us with many photo opportunities. We got close to the main waterfall parking lot and then walked along the Yellowstone River 3.5 hilly miles round trip to Artist Point which afforded the most dramatic view of the river, canyon, and waterfall. This is the location that Thomas Moran used to make many of his famous paintings. Returned to Fishing Bridge to our 5th wheel and had a light lunch from our previous dinner leftovers. We then drove to Lake Yellowstone Bay Marina and did a commercial cruise boat scenic tour of the lake complete with lots of historic oratory and interesting stories about old western characters involved with the lake. After that we had wine in the Lake Hotel Lobby and then a great gourmet dinner in their fine dinning room. It was a wonderful fun day we spent with our long time friends Steve and Helen Biro.

Diary of Linda and my trip to North Yellowstone, WY July 2004

7/29/04 Left Doug and Lana’s house for Missoula around 10:15 a.m. Took scenic highway 200 which borders Lake Pond Oreille and then the NF of the Clark River most of the way to Missoula, Montana. Stopped at Thompson’s Falls State Park for lunch and a short hike with Meggie. We arrived in Missoula around 3:00 p.m. and checked into Jellystone RV Park

7/30/04 Left Jellystone Park at 7:50 a.m. heading south on highway 90. Stopped at Three Rivers State Park, the confluence of the Gallatin, Madison, and the Missouri Rivers. Had lunch there, eating sandwiches which we bought at the Wheat Montana Farms Bakery Deli in Three Forks Montana. Took a short walk through the park with Meggie. Arrived in Gardiner, Wyoming at 3:30 p.m. where we checked into the Yellowstone RV Park overlooking the Yellowstone River. We are one mile from the entrance of the north Yellowstone entrance. I cooked a pork butt roast with Lipton Onion Soup, potatoes, onions, and carrots in the pressure cooker which turned out to be very tasty even with that cheap cut of meat Linda bought.

7/31/04 Got up feeling lousy with fatigue and more pins and needles than usual. I made sour dough pancakes for breakfast using the Montana Farms and Bakery –Prairie Gold Hi Protein flour I purchased. Even Linda liked the pancakes. At 12:00 p.m. we finally left for Yellowstone. We visited Travertine Springs at Mammoth Hot Springs which was quite beautiful. We viewed the Visitor Center exhibits and the Thomas Moran paintings. Attended a ranger talk and returned to Gardiner in the rain.

8/1/04 I decided this was to be my day for rafting on the Yellowstone River. I was going to do a professional trip, but met a kayaker family from Fort Collins Colorado. Kirk and I decided to share shuttle duties and do a 4 mile section of river about 3 miles north of Gardiner. This river is probably the fastest flowing river I have ever floated, and my only complaint was; that the run was too short. I negotiated all the solid class 2 and 3 rapids with no trouble. Kirk flipped is hard shell kayak just before the takeout point. I recovered his paddle and he self rescued himself and the kayak. The run was very exhilarating in the cold crystal clear river located in the clean 5,200’ mountain air close to Yellowstone Park NP. For future reference, a great run would be; to put in south of the bridge in Gardiner at the public access point near Xanterra dormitories and go down stream (north) about 7 miles to a river fishing access point beach for putout. Another great 4 mile run with several class 3+ rapids would be Yankee Jim Canyon, which is about 15 miles north of Gardiner.

8/2/04 Linda and I actually got into the Park today by 9:00 a.m. We drove to Tower Falls about 25 miles from our camp ground. Along the way we stopped at Undine Falls. Saw a Brown Bear feeding on roots near Roosevelt Lodge and of course we stopped to photograph the large creature. We made it to Tower Falls, but because of trail closures we were not able to get real close. None the less it was still very impressive. On the way back we drove a 6 mile long dirt road to Blacktail Plateau which was remote and very beautifully covered with mountain wild flowers. We stopped where we could walk on a game trail to a meadow hidden from the road. We took little Maggie with us off leash. She had a great time romping in the meadow and trying to extract squirrels & Pika’s from their holes. On the way back Maggie was spotted by some excited people in a red jeep who thought they had spotted a wild animal, but they were obviously disappointed when they realized it was just an Irish Terrier dog. Wonder what the fine is for allowing canines to run free in the NP wilderness? Got home at 1:00 p.m., had lunch and rested for two hours. We then drove about 15 miles north to Yankee Jim Canyon Historical site in the NFS. Took Maggie for a 2 mile walk on the interpretive trail which was legal this time. The trail was right on the western banks of the Yellowstone River. Yankee Jim used to operate a toll road along the Yellowstone River in the early days of Yellowstone Park. Saw several Dude Ranches on the way back. Had a memorable Costco flank steak for dinner while it thundered and rained outside. Meggie got so nervous from the thunder and lightening that she did not eat her dinner.

8/3/04 We would definitely revisit the Yellowstone RV Park if we could get a site right on the river which over half of them are. Got packed and on the road by 9:00 a.m.

Last updated on February 6, 2019