3043.8 Miles

I almost don’t know where to begin today.

The last time I sat at my computer was over a week ago (I wrote and scheduled last week’s posts ahead of time) and since then the car’s odometer has ticked away 3043.8 miles, which doesn’t even count the miles added with my feet or the distances viewed with my eyes. It feels like a very long time since I’ve sat here with coffee in hand and tried to organize my thoughts and share a story with you. As is my way and my very special privilege here on the blog, I’ll do my best over the next couple of days — because I can’t possibly cover it all in just one post — to share with you the things I’ve seen & the experiences of those 3043.8 miles.

A little over a week ago we packed up our little car, dressed in new snow tires, with only the necessities. You know what those necessities are — emergency gear, plenty of knitting, books, audiobooks, a spinning wheel, more fiber than I could possibly hope to spin in a month, long underwear, snow pants, heavy boots, hats & mittens, spare hats & mittens, etc. Yes, we just packed the essentials for a very long cold weather drive. In the wee hours of Sunday morning we piled ourselves in (Moose included, of course) and headed West.

I opted to not knit on the smallest project available, but one of the larger. Why? I have no idea except that it was soft & warm.

img_1884-1And by the end of the first day, the body of my Agnes sweater in the luxurious Quince & Co Puffin was almost finished. I’m very fortunate that driving for exceptionally long periods does not phase Mr. Knitting Sarah one bit. We left in the dark and arrived at our first stop, Glendive, Montana in the dark and almost immediately hit the hay. The following morning, however, we were able to enjoy a quick hike in Makoshika State Park. This park contains park of the Hell Creek Formation in which fossils of T. Rex and Triceratops can be found. For our dinosaur loving kids, it was a thrill just to be in this place. For the grown-ups…

It was a worthy hike for the view, reminding us that Montana really is Big Sky Country.

After our hike, we continued on to our final destination, further West toward & into the mountains. Despite some frigid temps, the weather mostly cooperated and we enjoyed picturesque views of the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains growing ever larger in our windshield. img_1919It was the first time the kids have visited the Rockies and it was very fun to see their disbelief at the sight.

And then there was that section of interstate that had 65mph crosswinds and blowing snow…

img_1929Where the road occasionally disappeared and the big trucks swerved a little precariously in their lanes.

But I mostly didn’t panic and we made it without incident.

And rolling into town while it was still light, the full welcoming committee met us at Yellowstone National Park…

img_2189Bison…

img_2009Coyotes…

img_2161And the ever-present elk.

By the time the sun started to set and we turned in to our hotel in Gardiner, Montana — a little mountain town nestled right at the northwest entrance to the park — I was working on the sleeves of my sweater…

img_2104-1And we’d made a special fiber arts stop…

img_1943Which I’ll share with you tomorrow — complete with the main attraction for our trip!

Stay tuned!

11 responses to “3043.8 Miles

  1. So Glad you made it to Yellowstone in the winter, it is beautiful!…too bad you did not make it down to the South Entrance I could have met you personally!

    • That *is* too bad! I wasn’t sure where you were at so you can bet I was reading all the lady rangers’ name tags carefully! We were mainly going with the goal of seeing wolves, so we stayed up in the Lamar Valley. We considered splitting up and one of us taking the kids on one of the tours to the Norris Geyser Basin (we had the dog, so we couldn’t all go), but in the end decided we’d rather just return in Spring or early Fall sometime when we can really see everything. So next time for sure if you’re still there!

      • I will definitely still be here. I have a permanent position now as Fee Supervisor of the South Entrance of Yellowstone. Just a heads up if you have the option to come during the “off” season I highly suggest it. 2016, being the National Park Services Centennial, Yellowstone and every other NP across this country is going to be busier than ever. Hope you got to see some wolves.

      • What an amazing place to have a permanent position! I’ve been to Yellowstone a couple other times, always in August and I’m very aware of how crazy it can be – I can only imagine how busy it will be with the centennial! Good luck to you & your coworkers!!!

        Our other vacations this year are already spoken for so 2016 is already out for us – hopefully within a year or two though we’ll get back. We’re definitely looking at the shoulder seasons – those months right after the roads open and just before they close. Unfortunately I’ve seen a lot of shenanigans in peak season that it makes me really want to avoid those times if possible.

        And yes, we got to see wolves actually really well. I’ll share some photos (not great photos, but proof anyways) in the coming days!

    • Well worth the (LONG) drive! We’re lucky in that the kids are good travelers, really very lucky. I had 2 life mammals & 4 life birds. I have to remember to share that!

    • Yes! It’s pretty awesome in winter, but you’re somewhat limited in where you can go as most of the roads are closed. You can ski & snowshoe all over or pay to ride into the geyser basin & old faithful with a bit snowcat, but if you’re looking for wolves, the Lamar Valley road is decent. The best part is that there aren’t a ton of people, so it’s a very different experience in that regard. 🙂

Comments are closed.