Yesterday we thought that the park would be super busy considering it was the day after the holiday, so we decided to take the road east across Yellowstone through Lamar Valley and out into Wyoming and onto Beartooth Highway. We encountered very little traffic and we started around 9:30am. We stopped briefly to view this gorgeous waterfall.
On our way to view the petrified tree, we met up with this sweet man on the side of the road.
I found it interesting that the petrified tree was surrounding by a fence, but then read that there used to be three of these trees back in the early 1900s. Tourists thought it was a good idea to take pieces of the tree with them when they stopped to view them. Now there is one tree left. I will never understand why people feel the need to take natural souvenirs from every place they visit. There are stores for that!
We saw herds of bison and groups of pronghorn on our drive through Lamar Valley. There were quite a few people who had set up chairs, tripods, and held binoculars in the turnouts. Jef said that people will sit there all day and just watch nature unfold. This may include a visit from some wolves! Sadly, we did not have the time to sit and watch them appear. Instead we were treated to the magnificent views of Beartooth Highway. It took us over two hours to drive this twisty drive up to an elevation of over 10,000 feet. It was a mere 50 degrees when we reached the top with strong wind gusts. I enjoyed driving those crazy roads and would have been car sick had I allowed Jef to drive.
On the drive down, Jef thought he spotted some goats. We stopped at a turnout and crossed the road just in time to view four kids running and jumping away with their moms. It was the sweetest thing. They were having so much fun hopping around. We also witnessed a man on skis who appeared to be navigating a sheer drop. We left before I could see what happened. The drive down was a bit harrowing with all the switchbacks, but a bit fun at the same time. We stopped in Red Lodge, MT on the way out. It was a bustling little town with a Main Street full of little shops, cafes, and even an old fashioned candy store. It was a welcome break from all the driving.