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Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Beartooth and Chief Joseph Scenic Highways

Yesterday morning we drove the car out of Columbus to take a drive down and up both of these scenic highways.

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I had driven the Beartooth before, but never the Chief Joseph.  Considering where we started from, this was a long but enjoyable drive.  It took 261 miles to complete.

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The higher and higher we drove, the more dramatic the views became.  This is a good time of the year to do this drive as the aspen trees are all turning golden.

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Once you get to the top, you start the journey down the other side.  Getting out and walking around near 10,000’ was interesting.  Both of us struggled a bit with the thin air.  The road won’t stay open for very much longer due to fall snow storms.

We had planned to have lunch in Cooke City after descending the southern side.  It seemed like I drove and drove, and never did find Cooke City.  I finally turned around to head back to the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.  The map I had indicated that the city was close by, but that wasn’t quite true.  Not having packed a lunch for this day, we were both hungry.

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Luckily, not too many miles down this road we found a little place called the Fork and Spoon CafĂ© that hadn’t closed yet for the season.  Only three things on the menu, but they were very tasty.  Our server told us that Cooke City had been quite a bit further down the highway.  Oh well, it turned out for the best.

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I really enjoyed this part of the drive.  If you are familiar with Chief Joseph and his struggle to make it to Canada before the federal troops caught up with him and what was left of his tribe, this was the last mountain that they climbed.  A wounded warrior was left here, and the US Calvary killed him.  To this day it is known as Dead Indian Pass.  I just can’t imagine the hardships of their journey with winter coming.

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The long drive was well worth it for me yesterday.  What stunning scenery.  This morning we packed up and headed out to Island Park, Idaho.  We’re about 14 miles from the west entrance to Yellowstone Nat’l Park.

Kurt is happy as a clam since the Wi-Fi at Valley View RV Park is working wonderfully for him.  Internet has been a challenge for him along the trip.  My Verizon air card continues to work just fine.

We will be here for five nights, and tomorrow we will head to ‘Old Faithful’.  That has to be at the top of the list for someone’s first visit to Yellowstone.  I wonder what the chances are we’ll encounter a bison jam tomorrow??

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

19 comments:

  1. I'm glad you found some food before starvation hit!

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  2. I'm loving this trip with you... Bill & I drove these roads a few years ago and what memories I have. And... you'll be outta there before the snow flies ;-)

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  3. Two of my most favorite drives in the whole US of A. We came over by Cooke City one day late in June and ended up having to follow a snow plow.

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  4. Oh - and yes, Jackson's arm does have a marker. I haven't gotten a picture of it because it is only open on the week-ends and we've been tied up with family. Maybe next time.

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  5. Beartooth Highway is a beautiful drive. . .loved seeing the snow in the mountains.

    When we worked at West Yellowstone, we could see the Idaho State Marker from our RV Site. . .Island City is the next town in, and is where we saw the only moose the entire time we were there. . .can't wait to see what you discover in Yellowstone. . .bring it on!

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  6. Wonderful time of year to journey throughout Montana ... as long as it doesn't snow! Hope you and Kurt continue to enjoy.

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  7. I lived near Cody, WY for a few years pre-cowboy and frequently loaded the dogs in the truck and drove the Chief Joseph. Have fun in Yellowstone!

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  8. Both those drives are a heck of a lot of fun.

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  9. Loved the Chief Joseph Highway better than the Beartooth. I hope you read about the detours on the way to "Old Faithful: some of the roads have already closed for the season due to construction.

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  10. We drove these roads last year and LOVED them. Thanks for re-kindling some fond memories.

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  11. I am with you Judy. I can't image how anyone could cross over those mountains on foot. Paul and I just hiked in a national forest and kept commenting on...How did those people survive in these surroundings? Don't think I would have been a very good pioneer.

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  12. Thanks for showing us something we wanted to see but had to turn back. Such a sad story. Shame on this country. It is time we at least apologized. You two are zipping right along. Yellowstone should be wonderful this time of year.

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  13. Beautiful drive and terrific photos. I think I can hear Old Faithful warming up already!

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  14. We were on both highways several times. I just wish that we could have experienced them in different seasons. I think it took me several times to discover the "tooth" that the highway is named after. One time, there were people skiing in July; another time we were in the clouds. Your pictures are wonderful.

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  15. I love that history of Chief Joseph.."From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever"...I have a picture of him on our living room wall...amazing story and very sad. I soooo loved Yellowstone...It looked like what I imagined Hell would look like...steam coming from everywhere and bubbling mud holes....A tad scary to know you are standing on top a volcano!

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  16. What a great and long tour:) If not Bison than for sure and Elk Jam!

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  17. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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