Headed Home along the Gibbon River
Pools and Terraces Upper Mammoth Hot Springs
Sunset Over Gardiner Mt
Winter Came Early
No Snowy Wet Boots Inside!
Sunrise Yesterday, Cold and Overcast
Local Mule Deer
Rocky Mountain RV Park
Jessica returned my call yesterday. She was overnighting with family in Bozeman. The roads back to camp were treacherous. “Day called on account of snow! We’re hunkerin’ down here. Curtis is at the park.” I told her we’d stay last night and tonight while the weather breaks. We could stay over Friday to Saturday too. Rocky Mountain Park closes October 15th.
Today, Thursday, is cold with temps in the mid teens. We had clear skies this morning for sunrise, though clouds are moving in. It is calm, there is no wind. The Navion couple left this morning. They tow a vehicle so I figure they’re gone.
We may take Li’l Beast down the hill to Gardiner for a change of scenery. The road between Gardiner and Cooke through the park and Lamar Valley is open. I mentioned this to Ellen, who was not impressed. It’s too cold to have fun there today. That is the only road open in Yellowstone. All roads south are closed.
There are RV Parks open going south. In West Yellowstone there’s Buffalo Crossing with electricity. They close on the 20th. In Jackson there’s Fireside Resort which is expensive, but could be our only choice to stay near Grand Teton. They are open year ‘round. The Virginian (also expensive in season) closes 10/15 and will not be there for us.
Weather going south out of the high plains and mountains will be fine with daytime temps in the 40’s or more. We’re in no rush to flee Yellowstone.
Ellen’s Lunch, Huckleberry Sauce Left Background
First off I headed to Antlers at the other end of town. I wanted to check their menu. It’s a lodge and bar/restaurant across the street from Outlaw’s Pizza and Casino. Parking was easy, the lot was empty. Antlers looked closed, but the front door opened and in I went. I found a gal in the back room packing sandwiches into bags. I startled her. “You’re closed, right?” They were, she had left the door unlocked. I slip-slid to Outlaw’s and the local mall. They too are closed. In fact the entire mall was shut down.
We drove into Gardiner to top-up our propane and find something to eat. The local propane company is family owned and has erratic hours. A sign states “Open 7AM to 1AM Monday – Friday”. That’s more a suggestion. they were closed when we arrived at 12:20 AM. We parked up the hill in an RV parking spot and walked down to Wonderland for lunch.
Wonderland was closed. They’ve changed their hours to 7AM to 11AM. Gardiner is slowly shutting down. We went to Cowboy’s with an “oh well, let’s see what this is like”. We both had pork, mine in a BBQ sandwich, Ellen’s with mashed potato. It was very good. On the menu was a huckleberry Habanero sauce for a dollar more. It sounds strange having huckleberry with BBQ sauce, but how could I pass up Huckleberry habanero? It was so good I asked if they sold it. “No, we make it ourselves here and don’t sell it.” I had another “order” in a togo cup. This sauce is great. It has a heavy huckleberry flavor, probably a reduction, with just the right touch of habanero to give it a kick. Scrumptious!
We dropped in at Yellowstone Wild to chat with Chris, but saw the Yellowstone Visitors Center was open and went there first. A tall woman welcomed us in from her desk by the window to our left. The visitor center is huge, walled with literally hundreds of brochures and maps of the area. The massive fireplace stands mid-room. I chatted with her as Ellen perused the literature. “I’d get up to greet you, but my dog’s asleep on my lap.” “Oh what kind of dog to you have”, Ellen perked up. She rose to bring her baby dachshund over. She was wrapped in a blanket and so tiny. Ellen and I have both had dachshunds. The three of us bonded over her dog. “What’s her name?” “Mango”
Chris had company, a local woman he was hiring to manage his shop. We chatted a bit then headed off.
Back home four of the five other campers were gone. We’ll head out tomorrow for points south.
Man in the Moon
On our cold evening walk we met Rudi, the dog, and Kevin and Mindy. “The only Rudi I know of is Rudi Giuliani” Ellen quipped. “Let’s not talk politics”, I said. Kevin and Mindy live a few houses down the hill from Rocky Mountain RV Park. Ellen and I dispute where they said they live. Ellen says Indiana, I think Louisiana. Either way they had been coming to Gardiner & Yellowstone for years then decided to boy here in Gardiner. They stay a few months in the spring and a few months in the fall and rent the house out in the summer.. “It pays for itself”, said Kevin. They invited us to join them for pool night at the Two Bit Saloon.
We have proven that Li’l Beast can sustain sub freezing temperatures better than we can! Diesel gel has not been a problem either. Winnebago’s cold weather package does work. On 10/10 the daytime temperature never rose above 28 F! So long as we have an electric hookup to run resistive heaters on our tanks and adequate propane for our heater, we’ll be fine.