May 27, 2010 Day 37 Driving Out the East Entrance of Yellowstone

Sylvan Pass

CC went to check us out early from Fishing Bridge so we could be on our way to South Dakota. He came back and we hooked up the car and left out the east entrance to Yellowstone. On the way we passed Steamboat Springs, a frozen Mary Bay, some bison near the fumeroles, an avalanche area near Sylvan Pass with a cool recoilless rifled cannon for shooting snow cornices so they don’t cause avalanches and more bison once we got to the park boundary at Pahaska Teepee. The road wasn’t nearly as bad as people told us it would be. There was only about 20 minutes where the RV felt like it was on the edge of the canyon. At Pahaska Teepee we encounter the never ending road work that goes on in Wyoming in the summer. We were stopped at a bridge construction but it was only for about 3 minutes. The problem was the light would only let 1 car through at a time.

There were unique cliff formations as we drove along. I was able to get many pictures as the speed limit was pretty low in some passes. We neared Cody and went through 3 tunnel passes near the Buffalo Bill dam. We wished we had more time because there was a visitor center there. Everyone always talks about the Buffalo Bill museum which we didn’t have interest in but we would have made time for the dam if we had known it was there. Something for the next trip I guess.

We make a short stop at Walmart in Cody for supplies and gas and get back on the road. The temperature is more like home in FL right now. It was up in the high 80’s. It felt so good after freezing for so long. PTCC even changed into shorts and a T shirt. After stopping in Cody so did CC and I as well.

We can see the Big Horn Mountains in the distance and it seems forever to get to them. We go through another rough road with construction between Cody and Greybull. Then we turn south towards Worland and get ready for a climb towards the peak. The actual road was nice with many turnouts to view the North Fork Powder River. The mountains still had a lot of snow on them with the high elevation. We finally came to the top of the road at 9666 elev and passed the Powder river pass in Ten Sleep Canyon. We saw plenty of mule deer and pronghorn deer up in the canyons. No antelope though. Almost as soon as we passed the summit we get stopped by road construction again. This time the flagger was very talkative and told us what was ahead. I guess it gets lonely with vehicles passing you all day long.

East Side of Powder River Pass

Right as you see the “Welcome to Buffalo, WY” sign the asphalt turns red. I wonder what they have in it that makes that causes that?

Yesterday CC asked what if we pushed on to Devil’s Tower instead of staying in Ten Sleep or Buffalo? I said I was OK with that as long as he wasn’t too tired driving through the passes we had to go through to get there. So we decided if he didn’t feel too bad we would try. So when we got to Buffalo and it was still early enough to make Devil’s Tower, we calledl the KOA there to see if they will have room since we are coming up on a holiday weekend. They say they did, so we reset the GPS to go there. We take the turn off to the tower and you can see it in the distance. It takes about 45 minutes to actually get there though. We pass some steers with huge horns grazing  near the road as we turned onto the park road. We see the KOA ahead and turn in to register. We pick a nice sight and start dinner, eat and then PTCC goes out to the playground to let off some steam. CC and I walk around and take pictures of the grounds and the Devil’s Tower sign as the national park is right next to the KOA. We get PTCC and go across the street for ice cream and just make it before the store closes for the evening. As we talked to the lady working there we asked if some strange weather phenomenon was going on as we had seen these interesting weather trucks from all over passing us today. She told us there was a tornado in Wyoming which hardly ever happens and the trucks had been coming by all day. Several of them went into the park, probably to camp for the night.

Tomorrow we will tour the park and then head for South Dakota.

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