See the day 1 map
See the day 2 map
We left Arena mid-day on July 4, intending to drive straight through to Grand Teton National Park. After bucking a nasty headwind all the way across Minnesota (I wasn't sure the little Chevy was going to make it!), we headed into South Dakota facing a beautiful sunset. We saw the first fireworks of the evening when crossing the Missouri River near Chamberlain, South Dakota - there were crowds setting off bottle rockets waiting for the big show to begin. We continued on through South Dakota and were fortunate to see fireworks in Presho and Murdo, South Dakota, and in many small towns across the state. The last fireworks of the night were spotted in Rapid City, South Dakota. It was an empty, foggy night going into Gillette, Wyoming, so I decided to pull into a Flying J to catch a nap. Being the morning person, Kath was up and rolling westward by 6:00 A.M. By 8:00 we were off the interstate and headed into the Bighorns. We drove through clouds passing over the Bighorns, but by the time we reached Shell Falls it was mostly sunny and warm.
We made it through the Bighorns and were headed for Cody when the grain elevator in Greybull, Wyoming caught Kath's eye. A short stop in Cody for lunch and supplies, and we were off to Yellowstone.
Since neither of us care much for crowds, we dashed through Yellowstone without any major stops. With the July 4 weekend exodus in full swing we made for the exit as quickly as possible. We did however see several mule deer, and of course you can't go through Yellowstone without seeing some steam pits.
Next stop was Grand Teton National Park to look for camping for the night. We had arrived early enough in the day to secure camping at Colter Bay Village Campground in the park. We quickly set up camp then headed out the check out the park. You really could turn in any direction and see a postcard view. I of course was burning up film (a dozen rolls before the trip was over).
Go to Day 3
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All images and text ©1999 Dennis & Kathleen Deery