On May 11th, after a long sleep-in at the Missoula motel, we resumed our journey toward Yellowstone. At this point, we started to realize which important items we left behind. I won't point any fingers, but we needed to find somewhere to buy a hair brush, hair dryer, and a bikini/swimsuit (the last one was particularly important because of expected hot springs at Yellowstone). About half-way through Montana, we pulled into Bute. We immediately found ourselves in the middle of the old section of a town with a rich mining history, including the typical boom period. Once sated on WiFi and tacos, we eventually found the K-Mart to stock up and then headed out of town.
The country terrain changed significantly as we veered off the interstate highway toward Yellowstone. This helped us get more excited about our destination, even as snow and frozen lakes joined the scenery. We weren't even in the park yet when we had a very exciting sighting: a buffalo! Little did we know that we'd have many more opportunities to see these amazing creatures, and it wasn't far down the highway that we had a close-up of two that were hanging out at the side of the road.
We finally got to the west gate of Yellowstone National Park and paid for our entrance. Sara asked about the location of the hot springs. We were told, somewhat gravely, that the hot springs in Yellowstone would either burn us severely from their acidic levels or boil us alive from their high temperatures - that is, if the poisonous fumes didn't cause us to pass out first. So much for Sara's hot pink, happy-face-adorned, K-Mart-special bikini.
It was late in the evening when we arrived at the closest campground. We were excited to be there, though, despite the cold and the presence of snow. Afterall, we had two full days to explore the top of this ancient volcano called Yellowstone National Park (one of the largest volcanos in the world - I didn't know that before).
(for all of our Day 2 photos, go here: Road Trip 2010 - Day 02 - Getting to Yellowstone)