Friday, August 1, 2008


Max awoke after a night sleeping at the base of the Grand Tetons, made some coffee and befriended the horses that had been grazing next to our tent during the previous night.

We got on the road by 8:30am, which was the earliest we had started a day of driving yet. After deciding that Thermopolis was too out of the way, and that surely we would find another hot spring in Wyoming, we drove due West to Grand Teton National Park, and then headed north. We stopped to ask at the ranger station about a more remote spring that we could partake in. Ranger Dan was very helpful, drew us a map showing a short one-mile hike to Huckleberry Springs, which he described as undeveloped but encouraged us to go explore. We set off down a dirt path with our swimsuits and a towel ready for a quick 45 minute detour. We forded a quickly moving stream, continued down the path swatting at horse flies and finally found Huckleberry Springs. The quaint name evoked a peaceful pool of bubbling warm water surrounded by flowers and berry bushes. We found a foot of murky, algae-filled, hot water. Thanks Ranger Dan. It took two hours in total and the one saving grace was that it let us see how Buzz would react to being left in the car for two hours in the middle of the day. We found her happy, cool, and asleep by the gas pedal.

We continued our drive into Yellowstone National Park, which was filled with cars of tourists gawking at the sites. After being amazed by the variety of the previous day's drive through southern Wyoming, Yellowstone was both grand and somehow uninspiring. Old faithful had a six flags vibe to it, but gave us a nice place to sit and write post cards to friends back home. Yellowstone emptied us out into Montana, which we soon realized is what happens when you add water to Wyoming. Like an expanding foam dinosaur Montana unfurled in front of us, dwarfing the beauty of Wyoming which had impressed us so much. The Mountains got bigger and greener, rivers and lakes emerged, and we were glad that we were traveling west and had seen Wyoming first, making it a primer for Montana's sublime landscape rather than a disappointment.

We decided to try and make it to Lolo Hot Springs, MT to camp. Surely there would be a hot spring in our future there.

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