Blog entry #8 August 28 to 30, 2013 – Thermopolis to Yellowstone

Got up early and went out to the Jeep at our lodgings in Thermopolis to see if I could find the source of an annoying intermittent stumble in the engine at idle.  30 minutes later I was no closer than when I started.  The Jeep was otherwise running relatively well, so I buttoned things up and we packed up for the trip to Powell, WY where we had arranged to meet with Ms. Diane Martin at the Hinckley Library on the campus of Northwest College.  It is here that they maintain much of the archive collection of memorabilia from the original 1920 Park-to-Park Tour.

Left Thermopolis around 10:30 am after a sound breakfast in a Thermopolis downtown café.  The trip from Thermopolis to Powell traversed a lot of open prairie with rolling hills covered with scrub brush.  To keep the juices flowing we elected to take some lonely secondary roads through the Shoshone Valley for the last legs of the trip to Powell.  The remote locale was both awesome and a bit intimidating.  45 minutes later we popped out in downtown Powell, happy that we had taken the road less traveled.

Had a pleasant visit with Ms. Martin in the afternoon.  She and her husband are avid campers and as such she was able to share travel suggestions for the balance of our trek through the Parks.

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Dan with Diane Martin at Northwest College’s Hinckley Library in Powell, Wyoming

That evening was laundry night.  While Jean remained back at the motel taking care of some company business, I made my way to the local Laundromat.  Did pretty well, no socks lost and most of the clothes ended up the same color as when they were before I washed them.

Jeep Trek Blog 8-29-2013 – First visit to Yellowstone

Once again got out early to work on the engine’s drivability problem.  Previously noticed prematurely pitted points, so I decided to file the points and change out the condenser for one of the three additional ones that I had accumulated.  After trying most of the spare condensers, filling the points, and replacing the rotor and distributor cap with ones that had previously performed well, I hit upon a combination of procedures and components that somehow provided good idle and power performance.  Still don’t know the root cause; but I ain’t touching a thing until/unless it starts acting up again.

Also installed a coolant recovery bottle that I had purchased the previous day as a precaution against losing too much coolant under the sustained high load conditions anticipated climbing hills in the upcoming Parks.

It was a short uneventful drive from Powell to Cody which is at the doorstep to the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park about 50 miles west.  During the Park season Cody caters to the Park’s visitors with an abundance of, albeit somewhat pricy, lodging, restaurants, and gift shops.  We passed through Cody and on to lodging that Jean had arranged for us in a cabin complex an additional 20 miles closer to the east entrance to the Park.

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Jean at our cabin 30 miles east of the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park

  After unloading luggage at the cabin for weight reduction, at around 1:30pm we drove over to the Park with the intent of driving the full figure 8 road system to get a feel for the layout.

Well, boy we were wrong about that.  Between winding roads and stops for bison in the road and road construction projects, it was nearly 4:30pm when we reached the Roosevelt Lodge at the northeastern corner of the upper loop for a late lunch.  While we waited for our Bison burgers to arrive, we did a mental calculation of the time we would arrive back at the lodge if we continued on with our counterclockwise traverse of the upper loop of the figure 8.  With sunset estimated to be around 7:30pm – three hours being the same duration as it took us to get from the lodge to where we were, and my concern about any possibility of breaking down in the Park after dark, we elected have our burgers and steamed vegetable sides put in to-go boxes, topped off the gas (@ $4.19/gallon) and headed back out the way we came in.  We ate our “lunch” during one of the road construction delays, spent 15 minutes close-up and personal with a herd of Bison crossing the road.  We made it back to the lodge just as dark fell on the complex.  The Jeep ran sweetly throughout the whole journey back to the lodge.   After a glass of wine for jean and chocolate cake alamode for me, we called it a day – another  good day.

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Coming up to the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park

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Corkscrew Bridge in Yellowstone National Park –  The main Park road once passed across the top of the bridge and then down and through the tunnel

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Roosevelt Lodge in the northeast side of the upper loop  of Yellowstone National Park where we stopped to grab a late lunch

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The north rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

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Approaching our cabin complex at the end of our first afternoon in Yellowstone National Park

Jeep Trek Blog 8-30-2013 – A day in Cody, WY

Knowing that our younger daughter and her family would shortly be spending 6 days with us visiting the Gran Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, Jean and I elected to go back to Cody, 20 miles east of our lodging to visit their expansive museum complex rather than go to the Park.  We had a grand time; first browsing some of the shops on the main street and then visiting the Buffalo Bill Center of the West which consisted of 5 separate but interconnected well appointed exhibition halls.  We spent about 3 hours just viewing the highlights – it would take a good day to do it justice.

Before traveling back to our cabin we visited the expansive Irma Hotel in Cody, established by Buffalo (William) Cody and named after his daughter.  We had a snack in the main dining room which houses an elaborate bar installed at the time of its construction in 1902.  We returned to the cabin complex, had a light dinner in the lodge and settled in to reflect on the events of recent days and the times ahead of us.

 

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Had to take this shot of “then and now” on the main street in Cody, Wyoming

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Dining Room with elaborate bar at the Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming


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