Day number one: Sunny and warm.
Day number two: Raining and low visibility.
Day number three: Snow and more snow!
Day number four: We shudder to think!
We headed out of Pocatello early, 6:53 a.m., in order to get to West Yellowstone and into the park in time to enjoy some of its sights. Within a very short distance from Pocatello we began to get snow and then more snow and then even more snow. Michael was miserable as the driving was treacherous for those of us who just aren’t used to these conditions. We were behind a snow plow/de-icing truck for quite a while, which was very reassuring and we were saddened when it pulled over to the side of the road to let all of the backed up traffic pass. Once we got over the Continental Divide, the snow diminished but was still present.
We finally made it to West Yellowstone about 10 a.m. After a comfort break, we headed into Yellowstone for the day. Although there was snow to one degree or another all day, travel was much easier in the park and we were able to see the sights we wanted to see. Of course, most of the park roads were closed, which made it easier for us to limit ourselves.
We saw elk and lots of bison and one big coyote, which was in one of the smaller parking areas. We saw plenty of thermal activity with steaming and spouting geysers and springs and splattering mud hotpots. We spent about an hour in the Old Faithful Inn and enjoyed a revitalizing, fortified coffee while sitting in front of the blazing fire. Our last walk of the day was to the Artists’ Paintpots, which was about 2 miles round trip, and by the time we got back to the car, my hair was full of snow and my shoes were full of muck. Time to head back to our not-so-opulent lodgings at the Desert Best Western.
The temperature never got above 28 degrees today. There are winter weather advisories for almost all of the highways we need to take to continue on our eastward journey. We are contemplating aborting our trip and heading back home. The weather is truly awful for driving and there doesn’t seem to be much point in being miserable just for its own sake. We’ll see what tomorrow morning brings; according to the weather forecast, it should bring about three more inches of snow!! REALLY?!