Setting off early this morning we head for Yellowstone, knowing it’s a 12 hour drive and thinking we’ll probably get 3/4 of the way there and then camp up.
We go for 2 hours driving and swap. The 1st stint is along the rest of the North Cascades Highway and the second over the Okanogan plains. Totally contrasting views! Both spectacular.
We stop for coffee in a town called Twisp, where we stumble on a great coffee shop that roasts it’s own coffee beans and we buy some ground coffee and a coffee device so we can have real coffee while camping 🙂
Next stop is a view point for the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in the world when it was built (just after the Great Depression) and it still is today! Mighty impressive too.
For lunch we need fuel and just make sandwiches while re-fueling in Wilbur, Washington. Then early afternoon we stop in Wallace, Idaho for some wifi, coffee and a quick supermarket visit. It is an old western mining town, supposedly authentic and pretty convincing too. Shortly after leaving here we cross the state border into Montana and realise the clocks need to go forward as we’re now on Mountain Standard time. This means it’s actually later than we think and we need to consider how far we can go before needing to stop for a campsite. Hhmm.
Re-assessing our options we decide to look for a site around Missoula, Montana, but it turns out to be a huge sprawl of a town and so we keep going, probably another 40 or so minutes before finding a national park sign for Beavertail Hill State Park. The tent is up and fire going just before dark but we are eating by torchlight.
Good timing but bad choice. The campsite is lovely enough if a tad close to the road. But what we didn’t bargain for was not only is it an expensive site (supposedly to cover park entrance as well) but it’s also the noisiest. Being full of retirees you might scoff at how this can be possible but they are the only group of people, them and the deaf, who could put up with almost hourly trains coming close by with their horns going off for a solid 30 seconds. Needless to say we don’t get much sleep and about 4am we snap and get up!!!
0430 – Tent packed and just in the nick of time too as the rain arrives and with it lightening!!! Our luck arrives and in good time 🙂 The roads are pretty quite as we get on our way ahead of schedule to pay Yogi a visit at Yellowstone 🙂