Friday, January 3, 2020

Campers seeking warmth

(Sept - Oct 2019 Travelogue)

It is sweet that technology allows me to watch and listen as grand-daughter, Olivia Ruby, sings from her Ruby book - singing the narration while accompanying herself on the piano.  It carries me through (a bit of fear and) the surprise and disappointment of missing a hike along Bear Creek to its source.

As we set out to hike, making plenty of noise, we see fresh bear tracks crossing the trail.  It has been raining so the impression is clear and clearly very fresh.  We carry bear spray and don't really feel threatened, but it doesn't seem quite fair to inflict bear spray on a little bear.  The tracks are smallish...and what if Mamma Bear is also nearby?

So we will leave the Bear Creek camp and continue on to seek some warmth further south.  The most direct route south is through Yellowstone National Park. We’ve both explored the park a lot over the years, so we are just using the roads, and really enjoying the beauty.  We drive along the Yellowstone River to Norris and then head west towards west along the Madison River.

We stop briefly outside the park to appreciate Quake Lake and the big water that created it during the 1959 earthquake

Our plan is to evade the snow storm and head south, but we drive only so far on the Johnny Ridge Road - and find ourselves on top of the Gravely Range where the views invite staying awhile.  We fall asleep to the sound of thunder in the distance and ice pellets on Q's roof.

In the morning we awaken to a frozen world way up in the clouds. It is slow going along the crest of the range until we descend into the really lovely Ruby Valley. We continue driving south on dirt roads, not minding a bit that it is slow going – the views are just so beautiful.
Ruby River

What makes progress so satisfyingly slow?

These roads are unpaved and there has been some rain recently, but there isn't much car traffic to slow us down.

Traffic in the Ruby Valley 

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