Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Driving in Yellowstone-Or Not!

Entering the grocery store last week I had a sudden rush of empowerment: I could buy ANYTHING I wanted. I didn't have to limit myself to one cooler or contemplate the survival rate of a pineapple on a snowmobile. I was heading home in my personal truck and the roads were perfectly plowed from West Yellowstone to Grant Village. I strolled through the grocery store without a care in the world; it was just me and aisles and aisles of wonderful food. My cart quickly filled up with fresh spinach, avocados, plantains, an assortment of cheeses, orange juice and an Easter Lily!

Soon I was driving through the gates of Yellowstone's West Entrance, which re-opened to the public on April 15. I passed just a few dozen vehicles filled with happy travellers who had come from all over to see Yellowstone in Spring...which evidently looks a lot like Yellowstone in Winter! A good and proper Bison jam waited for me along the road to Madison and soon it was beginning to feel like a normal day in the Park.   

But as we well know by now, Yellowstone is anything but normal.

Arriving at home that evening Shane and I were both thrilled to look out the window and see our truck parked outside. The next morning, with our new found liberty and freedom, Shane and I decided to venture North through the park and do some shopping in Bozeman, MT. The skies were clear, the sun was bright and Hayden Valley was glowing brilliantly as the rays of sun illuminated the endless valley of snow.

Driving through the park we were amazed at how much snow was still on the ground but the most spectacular was the sheer height of some of the snow walls, some surpassing 15 feet in height, that had been carved and wind blown through Hayden Valley. Arriving in Bozeman we happily purchased everything from plants and potting soil to paint and towels- all of which we needed in order to properly welcome Spring into our home. 

While trying to select the perfect ceramic pots we were instantly startled by the loud boom of a thunderhead followed by lightening. "Rain", we thought," no worries, we'll just wait out the storm".  But as we passed the great big sliding doors of Lowe's we looked up to find that our rain storm was actually a snow storm. Within an hour, several inches of heavy and wet snow covered and smothered Bozeman! Phoning a co-worker in the park, Shane found out what we already predicted- There was no way we were getting back home in this weather!

So much for liberty and freedom! How ironic is it that when I was stuck in Grant a few weeks ago I would have loved to be in Bozeman, but now I was stuck in Bozeman frustrated cause wanted to go home! But alas, I suppose there are worse things than being stuck in Bozeman! We found ourselves a room at the "not-so-trendy" Bozeman Inn and soon we were dining on Americanized Enchiladas while sipping Margerita's and laughing at this crazy thing called "Spring". 
The next morning brought us fresh coffee, sunny skies and miles upon miles of long range views of the Absoroka mountains accompanied with a free ticket back home to the snowy interior of Yellowstone National Park.    


  1. That is an awesome snowbank...living in Georgia, I can't even imagine that much snow. Nothing like some potting soil and pots to make your heart sing! More snow would put a damper on my enthusiasm though!

  2. In the last two days we received another 6 inches of snow! But painting the white walss in our house warm shades of spring has made the snow outside much more bearable!!! I could use a little Georgia sunshine though! :-)

  3. You buying an Easter lily brought back memories of my florist sister's house. She brought all these lilies home to use in church the next day about the time I arrived with my passel of kids. She was in a panic someone would touch them and they would turn black or the yellow pollen would stain them. It was torture but we laughed about it later. Jo