Today was more laid back, less “go go go” but still very nice. We got up, packed the car given we are leaving West Yellowstone today and headed out to our last breakfast at Old Country around 9 AM. We had the same waiter, same service and same food. I’m going to miss this place. They actually close the restaurant for the winter and reopen only in the summers which surprises me as it had that “local” feel to it. I assumed they stayed open year-round for the residents of the town.
We then headed to see Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the falls it contains. The drive to the canyon was a good hour drive so we got to relax along the way. We did get to take some pictures of a bison on the way though which was cool. By time we got to the Canyon area it was around 11 AM. We went in the visitor center, got some info, looked around a bit and then started our sightseeing. Today was not a lot of hiking as the trails that are worth hiking are closed for construction, so it was a hop in and out of the car for the vista type day, which was ok with us.
We spent a good 2 hours seeing the canyon and the falls from different vistas. We then headed back to the Canyon Visitor area to get a lite lunch, which didn’t happen. We ended up getting full regular size lunches, but the food was ok. It was a cafeteria style set up. I got a make your own Japanese Wok meal with steak. Mama and Jack opted for the comfort food station with chicken fried steak, ribs, etc.…
After lunch we meandered in the gift shops before heading out to our reservations for a covered wagon ride and a cookout. We were supposed to meet them at 3:45. Along the way we stopped several times to take pictures and just enjoyed the journey.
Once at the Corrals we listened to the safety talk and then loaded in the wagons. I will say for the $$$ they pack the wagons way too tight. 4 could fit comfortable per seat and they wanted to put 5 – I ended up moving to a row on the front which was inconvenient given our guide sat right in front of me, but it was better than feeling like you were in a coach airplane seat with your shoulders touching.
The ride was peaceful, and the guide was entertaining. I was a bit of a mood, so I just sat and enjoyed the ride trying to shake it off. One funny thing is that the carts were pulled by 2 draft horses – the one in front of me passed gas the entire way … I mean almost every step. It didn’t really smell, just made a noise that the 6-year-old kid next to me found absolutely hilarious. It was cute… his uncontrollable giggles at the farting horse.
Once there we unloaded, found our table and they rang the bell for dinner. It was steaks, potato salad, corn salsa, watermelon, etc.… The food was good, but I wasn’t really starving… should have ate the light lunch. However, it was nice and eating outside in the valley was really nice. After we were done a Bison came right near our area – I was getting some really good pictures, but then they herded us back and chased the Bison away as he was getting “too close” to the site. In my opinion they should have left him alone and let him make his route the way he wanted too. Everyone was staying the proper distance away from him. These creatures are not hostile unless you provoke them. They walk right next to the road with all the cars and stare at you…ah well. They are however massive weighting over 2000 pounds! I got some good pictures and the Bison still went on the trail he wanted to go on – he was stubborn and just went around the horse corral.
During dinner they had live music and after dinner and the bison one of the helpers told stories which were quite funny. True, probably not, but funny. One of them was making fun of the singer about how long he could stay on this temperamental horse. The punchline being it was the bronco machine at Walmart. 😊 The other was about Yellowstone hiring him to be in an Elk costume and pretend to be an elk for the tourist only to be chased by a bear who ended up being another employee – again true probably not, but funny never the less.
After dinner we rode back via wagon to our cars and headed on to Cooke City MT. On the way we went through Lamar Valley and saw several heard of Bison, many of which were crossing or right next to the road. I turned my car door into a convertible top and sat on it while Jack drove. I got some good pictures that way and didn’t fall out on my head so win! It was fun to be that close to these massive animals and to see them. They were making noises and you could tell one of the males was trying to get the females attention… There were also babies. It was really neat.
Now we are at the Super 8 in Cooke City. The reviews on this place were horrible, but so far it seems fine to me. Just a hotel room – it seems clean and the rooms are spacious. I’m not sure why the reviews were so bad. Tomorrow we drive the “most scenic highway in America” according to the literature before we book it down to Salt Lake for our flight back on Sunday.
Before I call it a night just a quick recap of wildlife we’ve seen so far. Bison, Bald Eagle in flight, Pronghorns, baby snake, chipmunk, squirrel, Raven, Bear, Coyote, Ducks, Geese, Other unknown birds….
😊 I could stay out here for a LONG time!
Sleep well blogland!