"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, June 10, 2019

Steak at Ted's and Fishing in Helena - MT

Helena, Montana
Riverside Bur of Rec

We had planned to stop for dinner in Bozeman on our way to Helena after we left North Yellowstone.  Our intended stop was Ted's Montana Grill.  We were all craving a good steak!
Since my brother and I both have long rigs I had to find a place in a busy downtown where we could both park.  Luckily there was a small park with wide streets around it just a few blocks away.  It worked perfectly!
 A short walk and we were there.
There is a hotel attached with a beautiful entry and lounge. We had a great dinner and then were off to Helena. It was less than a 2 hour drive and we should arrive just before dark.  We have camped at this lake before so we knew it would be no problem getting in to our reserved sites.
Here we are at Riverside Campground on Canyon Ferry Reserervoir run by the Bureau of Reclamation.  It's $15 with no utilities at the site.  There is a place to fill with water.  No dump station but you can dump in town.
We got our favorite spot, #20.  Our friends, Lee and Trace, had told us about this place a few years back and we were happy to be here again.
The view looking toward the dam.
And looking downstream.
My brother and I took a drive to check out the tiny community of York which is about 10 miles from the campground. Only a handful of people live there fulltime.  There is a post office, a restaurant and a couple small buildings.  We were told the The Friendly York Bar makes a mean burger.
It looked great and we would come back with our spouses for dinner.
It was a pretty drive and we were looking for some streams to fish.
We found some old flumes leading from the creek.
 They were very small streams and of course my brother hooked a few almost before I could get out of the truck!
This one was a decent size for such a small stream.
Cute cabin right on the river that I could live in!
The next day we drove up a decent dirt road that went up into the miles.  The stream up here was hard to get to and small but we found a few holes to try out.
Not to mention that there wasn't much room to park the beast so that others could get by.  Only saw a couple of other trucks up here anyway.
It was funny that in the spots that we were sure there would be some in the deep pools we didn't get any and in other spots that we doubted there would be any, we caught some decent ones.

Pretty Rainbow Trout.
One spot I hiked back to get to the water I came across this sign.  It was near the river by a backcountry camping area.  Maybe this was Mike's favorite spot?

Again, who'd think you could catch anything here?  But of course, my brother did!
A couple of nice Brook Trout this time.
On one of our lasts days the Two Steves and I took the Ranger up a small ATV trail.  It took us way up above the lake.  I drove.  With my brother egging me on to go faster, I did!  It was crazy dusty up here.  After a couple of hours none of us could take the dust so we headed back down to York for a Bloody Mary before dinner.
It was a gorgeous drive but we only saw a couple of deer, nothing else.
I slapped my pants and this is how crazy dusty it was!
Inside the York Bar is the typical room covered in dollar bills everywhere!
After a clean up and dinner we enjoyed a sunset on our last evening.

 Next Up, the old, cute mining town of Anaconda.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Snow in Yellowstone

Miner, Montana
Carbella BLM Boondocking

The snow arrived during the night as expected and coated Yellowstone with a healthy blanket of white.  We've been here a few times but always in the summer.  It was beautiful to see it with some snow.

On the way in we stopped in the town of Gardiner to look take a few pictures.  The previous rain really muddied up the water.  I'm glad we got our fishing in when we did.
These pictures turned out funny as this is the same Elk on two different sides of the building.  Front half and back half, but in two pictures.
The poppies were in full bloom.

Some Elk laying in the sun in town.
Looking back toward our camp with the snowcapped mountains.

The night before Steve and my brother had taken the Ranger back up in the mountains and ran across some large wolf tracks.  HUGE!

 Some flowers and cactus by camp.

After driving through town you immediately enter the north part of Yellowstone Park at the Theodore Roosevelt Arch.

It was still cold and windy so we're glad we were doing a drive around the northern loop of the park.  We skipped most of the hikes.
Liberty Cap
 Palette Spring

 The colored terraces of the spring were beautiful!


There are some falls along the Yellowstone River as you drive with plenty of places to pull over.

These young Grizzlies were playing Peek-a-Boo along the river.

The cold temps seem to make extra steam come out of the vents on the mountainside.

The black dot in the center just under the bridge is a Momma Black bear and her two cubs. There were plenty of rangers out as the bears were everywhere and they made sure no dummies ventured too close.  There was one woman who actually walked past the coned off area warning to stay clear of the bears that the Ranger had to tell her to get out.  Some people!
Diane checking out the cute visitor center cabin.

After driving about 1/2 way around the north loop we stopped in at one of the lodges for lunch.  I didn't get any good pictures but it was more 50s Retro than Mountain Lodge.  The food was not very good.

That snowy peak in the middle to the right is Mt. Washburn.  It sits over 10,000 feet up.  Last time were here Steve and I hiked up to the top.
Zoomed in you can just make out the tiny observatory at the top.
 More buffalo.

Basalt pillars in the mountainsides on both sides of the river.

On the short hike out to see the river overlook at Calcite Springs this little fellow was determined to get his treasure back to his hole.
One of the famous overlooks of Yellowstone River.

That black dot in the tree is a sleeping bear.
Were on our way to Lamar Valley to see if we can spot any wolves as this is the area they hang out.

We finally spotted some of the female Bison with some babies.
We took a side road and came upon a lot of people in a filed with several high powered scopes.  We parked and walked over to see what they were all looking at.  I didn't get any pictures but folks are always happy to let you look through their scopes.  There were several female wolves with pups far across the field.  You could only see them through the scopes.  It was the first time we've seen any wolves in Yellowstone so we were pretty excited.

More Pronghorn and Bighorn sheep on the way out.

On the way out of the park we spotted this camper on his way in.  I think we've found our camper to bring to Alaska!
Back at camp I finally got a decent picture of this colorful fellow.  Any of my birder friends know what it is?  Very cute.

This ends our time in North Yellowstone.  Really nice to see it covered in some snow!
Hopefully this is the last snow we have to deal with.  It is JUNE afterall!