Grateful to be on my way the next morning from our “fantastic” hotel (Don’t worry I had to wake up the clerk again to get checked out… what is with this guy?) we still had a long way to go ahead of us.
We took a quick detour to Fort Washakie to visit Sacajawea’s grave.
I have always found Sacajawea an inspiration, her bravery alone is admirable. There is some slight controversy over this grave site and who is buried there. If you look at the date of death etched onto the headstone you will see April 9th, 1884. There are reports that Sacajawea, or Sacagawea as some spell it, died in 1812, just a few years after her expedition with Lewis and Clark (1803 -1806). The woman that is buried here settled with the Shoshone tribe in the 1860’s after supposedly leaving her husband and living with the Comanche tribe in the 1840’s. Not much is known about Sacajawea after the expedition hence some of the confusion. Even if she is not buried here it is still a tribute to her. Perhaps I will visit her other grave site in Mobridge South Dakota just to cover my bases 🙂 The graveyard was colorful and shockingly filled with young people, even from recent times. Her grave alongside her son’s were both covered in flowers. We had arrived just at sunrise, adding to the peacefulness. I paid my respects and moved on to Grand Teton National Park.
The Tetons are my most favorite mountains so I was excited to see them. As we approached the Grand Teton National Park my excitement dwindled as I noticed a smokey haze across the skyline. Thanks to some fires in Idaho and the wind blowing dirty air my way the beautiful mountains were behind a filter of smoke.
Not to be deterred by the smoke I tried to channel Ansel Adams as I photographed the famous craggy mountains that I love so dearly. Although I am sure that I have visited Teton as a child I have no true memory of it. As I was driving around I was surprised by how small the park was. I had imagined long windy roads with towering mountains. Instead it was pretty compact and the roads were along the valley floor. I much preferred the image in my mind 🙂
I made a few stops for photos and souvenirs and continued on to Yellowstone National Park. The smoke had thankfully lessened and I soaked up the beautiful fall colors along my drive. I could not imagine a better time to visit the parks as the golden aspen trees, rich reds and orange colors were stunning as they rolled over the valley’s floor.
I spent some quality time at Old Faithful, mostly because I had just missed the geyser going off and I was not about to pass up that photo op. I walked the boardwalk around the other less, but in my opinion more visually stimulating geysers – but it’s all the fame right?!?!
I had seen Old Faithful as a child, but I still find it fascinating that it’s as loyal as it’s name. This was the last task of the day and I sat waiting on the benches arched around the geyser for the perfect photograph. I was slightly jealous of the lady sitting next to me as she had obviously planned ahead and brought herself a 6 pack of beer. Hey don’t worry about sharing lady, I was fine sitting in the sweltering heat as you guzzled down your chilled to perfection beer. Finally Old Faithful spouted off and gave us all a great show, just as we knew it would.
Boomer and I would be spending the night in West Yellowstone and I was in need of dinner once we arrived. I thought it would be perfect to grab a pizza to go and drink some of my growler beer as I relaxed in my hotel room. I found a local pizzeria and ordered a pie. I had a 20 minute wait so I decided to pass the time with a pint in the bar. I ordered a beer and I handed my debt card to the bartender who informed me that there was an $11 dollar minimum after I told her to run my card for my one beer. Annoyed both with I did not have any cash on me and her suggestion to use their fee abusive ATM machine I said “I’ll just drink my $11, thank you”. I sat in the bar, sucked down a few pints and ate my pizza, the only thing missing was my dog, PJ’s and control of the TV remote.