Day 56: Butte drive thru, Bozeman drive thru, and West Yellowstone

Pepper woke me up like clockwork. I fed her, showered and then we hit the road. It was a pretty uneventful drive into Butte and then on to Bozeman. This is another one of those “reseting the characters for the next chapter” type days. Not much to see along the way into Bozeman. And I wasn’t able to connect with the other bus folks, so that was a bit of a bummer. Past Bozeman I stopped for Diesel (the bus clearly has a drinking problem) and then headed south to West Yellowstone. The drive winds through a narrow canyon that I’m guessing used to have a rail line based on the route and grade of the road. It’s a beautiful drive with great scenery and lots of people fishing in the river. We travel past Big Sky resort (a place I want to snowboard someday) but can’t really see the terrain from the road. West Yellowstone is a cute little town, but filled with lots of touristy shops. I find my way to the campground and I’m blown away. The KOA in West Glacier is still the pinnacle of campgrounds, but this place is a very close second. There are huge manicured lawns. The rv sites are well separated with nice shade trees. And the people at the check-in are the nicest campground staff I’ve ever met. Even before getting to my site I was wishing I could stay longer, but I’m just here for one night.

I get the bus set up with full hookups (yay!) and then take Pepper for a walk. It’s about 3pm and so I decide to do a last load of laundry to tide me over until I get home next week. After the laundry I walk down to the Park Service welcome station to get details on camping. For the rest of the trip (4 nights) I’m winging it. Not an easy thing to do in the national parks in their busy season. They tell me that all of the campgrounds in Yosemite are full, but that a few have “no reservation” spots that are first-come-first-served. But I’d have to be in line first thing in the morning. And Most of the campgrounds can’t take a 35 foot RV. And my odds are pretty slim. I decide instead to get up early and take the morning to leisurely see Yellowstone, then head to Tetons to find a campsite. They have a couple of large campgrounds that won’t fill until mid afternoon. Now that I had a plan for tomorrow I head back to the bus and crawl back on the couch to read my book. I finished the current one, now start on the next. Then its off to bed early. That 6am alarm is going to be EARLY!