Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shoshone National Forest - Part 2

A view of the highway looking back from the elusive East Gate entrance of Yellowstone.
The temperature was mild, by this time the sky was steady and blue, and we were surrounded by beautiful snow covered mountains, cold mountain streams and rapidly melting snow on the road.
Although I was disappointed that we could not get into the park it was not unexpected.
I had no idea when we first moved to Cody but now am beginning to understand what living life at such elevation means.
And also why rocks slides and avalanches play such an important role in whether or not people can access the park.
Even when we had driven up to Cooke City and entered through the North East Gate we saw a sign indicating rocks slides up ahead.  
We drove within two miles of them before turning back.
We would not have been able to continue to the East Gate from inside the park even if the gate had not already been closed, because of this new slide close to the north east.
I was disappointed but not horribly disappointed.
This drive from Cody through Wapiti through the North Fork and through Shoshone National Forest is gorgeous and there was much to see.
More pictures taken as LC, my dog and I all walked along the side of the road close to the gate.
We had left increasingly green desert 50 miles behind us and were now exploring in a late Spring winter wonderland............
This place was cathartic for me.
Healing and peaceful and quiet and beautiful.
It reminded me of the terrain that I loved so much in Juneau.
I stood beside the road looking out over the rivers and mountains and took a deep breath.
I am finally sleeping better.
That's a good sign..............
So close and yet so far...............
Not too far from the East Gate we stopped at the Pahaska Tepee Lodge to eat lunch:
There is a picture of what it looked like when it was closed and buried in snow back in March:
There was a sign on the front door of the gift shop indicating that Yellowstone East Gate was closed for the day.
Inside the gift shop that lead to the restaurant entrance in back...........
One more buffalo standing guard at the front entrance to the restaurant...........
Scenes from across the highway opposite the lodge...........
The entire facility - the lodge, the grounds, the campground and cabins are all very quiet and situated in a lovely place..........
Continuing further we pulled off frequently to visit camp grounds and picnic areas that had been inaccessible only a month ago.
Everything had been buried under heavy snow all of the previous times that we had been up this way and I loved having the opportunity to take pictures of the Shoshone River that parallels the highway the entire trip between Cody and the park................
Reminders that we are in bear country.
I read a story in a local magazine recently about a hunting guide who lives in Cody and who makes a living as both a ranch hand and guide.
He has had two experiences with grizzlies in this area over the years.
On both occasions the bears charged.
The first he made it through uninjured and shot the bear.
The second he could not reach his gun in time because his back pack was in the way.  
The bear bit him on the arm and the back and began to bury him in pine needles.  The hunter he was with shot the bear with a bow..............
Difficult to believe these pictures were taken just a few days before June.............
Part of Sleeping Giant ski resort.
It is now closed for the season..............
The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thought and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains—mountain-dwellers who have grown up strong there with the forest trees in Nature's workshops...............John Muir

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