My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Beginning and End Were Perfect – But the Middle Needed a Little Work

July 12, 2015

I had worked several days straight so I could take four days to go to Yellowstone. Saturday, I worked seven hours, then watered my garden and arranged for it to be watered while I was gone, washed my clothes, and finished up my packing.

I slept pretty well and was sleeping hard when the alarm went off at 3:30. But the house was cold and my bras were still wet, so I turned on the heater to fix everything. I decided I had plenty of time to make a big breakfast and clean up the kitchen. Then I got dressed and started loading my pockets. When I got to my billfold, I realized I had forgotten to pay my bills so I quickly unpacked my laptop and paid them. Then I packed up my computer and loaded everything in the car. Somehow, the time had gotten away from me and dawn was breaking. I ran down my list one more time and realized I hadn't seen my tent in the car, although I was thinking all my camping stuff was in there. I quickly found it in the outside storage on the trailer, and, feeling righteous, set off.

The sky was getting ever prettier as the sun got closer to the horizon. I had to stop at Shambo Pond to take several pictures and then stopped several more times along the road out of Red Rock, including at Lake Henry. The beauty of the sky was thrilling. Then I asked my GPS where a gas station was and didn't notice that it sent me in the opposite direction of West Yellowstone until I was several miles out of my way. And the day got later.

Sunrise over Shambo Pond

Sunrise along the mountains

Sun and clouds over Henry Lake

I finally got to West Yellowstone around 7 A.M. and stopped to get gas. When I reached for my billfold, my pocket was empty. I had a spare credit card for just such senile blond moments. But I had to go back and get my cash which I would need to camp. I made good time getting back to the trailer and even remembered to finally pour a go cup of coffee, as well as to get my billfold. This also gave me a coffee cup for the rest of the mornings. But I didn't get back to West Yellowstone until after 9:00 A.M.

I had another problem finding the Norris campground. I first turned to the Norris Geyser, then went past the turn to the campground since road work is being done and the sign to the campground is down. So I drove about 4 miles more than I needed to. Then I drove every loop without finding an empty site. The camp host advised me to hurry to the next campground as they were all about to fill up. I rushed on down the road under repair and this time was in the back of a line waiting to transverse a one-way section. The traffic director let everyone go through except me. He waved me over to the side and then told me I had a flat. 

His boss, relieved him and he came and helped me change my tire. The best news about this is that I just bought a lug nut wrench with an extension and can now take of my own lug nuts. After I got the tire and everything I had to take out to reach the spare back in, I headed back to West Yellowstone to find a tire repair place.

But alas, none were open on Sunday. My next plan was to find a campground as close as possible to West Yellowstone. I also needed change to pay for my campsite so I bought two apples at the grocery store. The checkout lady was very friendly and I mentioned I needed to find a campground. She told me to go to Baker's Hole, a Forest Service Campground about five miles from town. I took her suggestion and found a lovely wooded campground with several vacancies. I picked a site with trees for my hammock and quickly set up my tent and then set my tarp up over it since I have a leak I keep forgetting to patch. 

My lovely campsite at Baker Hole

 I barely got everything up before a shower hit. I sat in the car and read some of the material given me at the Park entrance. The shower was soon over and I blew up my sleeping pad and put my bedding in the tent, then hung my hammock. I read a little and was almost asleep when another shower came through. I grabbed my hammock down and threw it in the car. After that rain I decided to walk around the campground. I found it is on the Madison River, in a nursery area where fish fry hatch and grow big enough to swim to Lake Hebgen. It was beautiful. But the weather was clouding up again so I went back to camp. The sky cleared again and I hung out my hammock and commenced reading. But another shower came along so I never got the nap I wanted. 

I ate supper in the car, then grabbed my camera as the sun fought its way out of the clouds and went back to the river to take pictures. I took a couple and almost turned around to come home.  Then I noticed pelicans and California gulls flying about and stayed to capture them. Then a hunting osprey showed up and kited several times where I could get pictures of him. 

Osprey kiting

Suddenly it started sprinkling and I heard thunder. I ducked into a group of three firs as the rain came down harder. Abruptly a rainbow formed. I started taking pictures, then realized it was double. I looked to the east and saw it was there as well. Then I realized the west end was a double rainbow. Next the middle developed until the entire rainbow was in view. I could not get it all into one picture so kept snapping. The first rainbow kept getting brighter and brighter and both ends got double rainbows. When I checked my pictures, even parts of the middle were double.

The inside rainbow formed first. As I waited for it to brighten, the second one appeared

When I looked left, the rainbow seemed to be coming down almost beside me.  I could see the colors were three dimensional and transparent

The rainbow in the middle

Final left side

Inside right side

And we even got reflections 

Any day that begins with a fabulous sunrise and ends with a rainbow, can't be all bad.  Tomorrow I'll try again for a campsite and also will get my tire fixed.