Seattle Times travel editor is on his way to Yellowstone National Park. When he finds internet, he's reporting from the road.
MOOSE CREEK FLAT, Montana – It’s almost 9 p.m., pitch dark except for the light of the almost full moon that came up over the wooded ridge across the highway. I’m actually writing this by moonlight — it’s almost full — at my campsite’s picnic table.
The Big Dipper is sitting right on its butt, if a constellation can have one, on top of the ridge in front of me.
The endless krisshhhh of the Gallatin River, about 50 yards from me, comes close to canceling out the occasional grumbling chatter of compression brakes on passing diesels on Highway 191, the main route to West Yellowstone.
Today was busy but good. Got a Horizon flight to Bozeman. About 90 minutes to get here.
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The twangy country music and songs about “gettin’ that man outta her life” on the Safeway P.A. as I did shopping for my camp dinners told me I wasn’t in Seattle anymore.
I love my little camper van from Campervan North America. It drives like a sports car. (Well, almost.) Cruises happily at 70, the speed limit even on 2-lane highways in Big Sky Country. It’s dwarfed by the big trailers and RVs in campsites around me, like a Morris Minor among Escalades. But for one person, it’s great, and the kitchen kit (another $55 for the duration of my rental) came with a brand new two-burner propane stove, a big cooler, and everything you could want for cooking and clean up, from multiple nesting cooking pots to small wine glasses, a can opener, all the camp cutlery you could want – even a whisk, in case Wolfgang Puck is along on your trip (in his designer lumberjack shirt) and he really wants to get the scrambled eggs perfect. I’m happy as Yogi Bear when he scored a pie off the ranger’s windowsill in Jellystone Park. Speaking of which: Signs all over the campground warn, “This is bear country.” So maybe I shouldn’t be sitting out here in the dark?
The drive along the Gallatin Canyon south from Bozeman included gorgeous setting-sun golden light on high rocky battlements above the highway. Portents of scenery to come, I think.
Tomorrow, fly fishing. My first time. Watch for the video. I expect I’ll be the guy with the fly line wrapped around my hat.