Day 61 – August 5, 2001 – We set out for West Yellowstone this morning and gave the interstate another chance. We had three possible routes, all involving the interstate for some portion. Since we were on the road early, we shared the highway with the truckers and the bikers on their way to Sturgis, ND. (I don’t know how they act in Sturgis, but the Harley crowd has been great to us – courteous, enthusiastic, happy to see us.) The road wasn’t too crowded until the motor home crowd got going around noon. (I promise I will be a much more considerate driver in my motor home from now on!) We took a side road that was a portion of the Lewis & Clark Trail and it was a lovely drive around (instead of over) a mountain, through a narrow canyon just wide enough for the road, a river, and the railroad tracks. By the time we rejoined the interstate, the after-church crowd was also on the road so we were happy when we reached the cut-off to Yellowstone National Park. It turned out to be a rather nerve-wracking drive for the first 30 miles or so since the road was filled with vacationers, all intent on reaching Yellowstone before anyone else. Eventually, the crowd thinned out and the drive became much more pleasant. You meander in and out of the park on the drive to West Yellowstone, a gateway city to the west of the park, and we finally arrived around 6:30 pm. Ben has family, cousin Tom Hardeman and his wife Paula, who live in West Yellowstone. We all cleaned up and met them for a wonderful dinner and then came back and collapsed. That is why I am behind in this journal; too much beauty during the day and too much going on at night.
Oh, one more thing that I think you would like to know. We heard from Ken and Joyce. They were on their way to Edmonton after leaving us to go home when they learned that Ken’s mother had passed away. She would have been 91 tomorrow. After some difficulty, they were able to store their car in Edmonton and fly home. Ken plans to return with his modern car and a trailer to take his ’22 Touring car back to Tennessee sometime after the funeral. She has been ill for some time and we were all sorry to learn about her death.