Yellowstone National Park 2018, Day 1: By Way of Bozeman


So we lost an hour today, being in Montana and all -- about six hours of driving, leaving at roughly 8:40 this morning from the Hercules Inn in Wallace, Idaho. But that's straight-through driving; we also stopped in both Missoula and Bozeman at their respective Costcos for gas -- and at least one other extra gas station in the middle so I could pee. I also peed at both Costcos. And at Hibernation Station here in West Yellowstone, Montana. And at a gas station here in West Yellowstone when we went for a walk. I did a lot of peeing today.

Anyway. Given it was about 5:45 once we finally reached Hibernation Station, which was 4:45 Pacific Time, it took us eight hours to travel here. But, we did spend maybe ninety minutes at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, that location on its own accounting for 24 of the 52 (about half) photos I took today. Another 15 were taken once we reached West Yellowstone --  a town so patently tourist trapy-y there's really nothing but countless motels, souvenir shops, a few restaurants and a couple of gas stations. I still intend to get about six postcards to mail to people tomorrow, though. Anyway, the rest of the photos were just taken while driving.

Highway 191 down from Bozeman actually meanders into the borders of Yellowstone National Park, so technically we were in the park today -- I got a picture of the sign from the car. We got to West Yellowstone far too late today to do any official visiting of the park today, which we will start tomorrow, the first of four full days we will be here. You can, of course, view today's full photo set on Flickr now, where they are all tagged; I hope to get to at least some of the captioning as soon as I post this entry, which I want to be at least shorter than yesterday's, which wound up being way longer than intended.

In any case, Shobhit's interest in the Museum of the Rockies rather surprised me -- he's usually not at all interested in museums. He saw the full dinosaur skeletons they have online, though, and I guess that interested him. I guess Montana is pretty famous for its dinosaur bone excavations, and indeed, one of the early scenes in my second favorite movie of all  time, Jurassic Park, features the brushing off of buried dinosaur bones in Montana. We got a 10% AAA discount on our tickets, and the dinosaur exhibit in particular was indeed very cool. 

Aside from that, and the captions you should hopefully soon be able to read on Flickr, the only other news is that Mom had her stent surgery this afternoon, and the doctor himself called me to fill me in on the details. He called just as Shobhit and I left Hibernation Station to take a walk through West Yellowstone, and I put him on speaker phone on a sidewalk between motels so Shobhit could hear. He used a lot of medical jargon I didn't understand, which was a little annoying, but he was very nice about clarifying anything I asked him to. Suffice it to say that the procedure was both diagnostic and corrective, and everything went fine. Blood flow is good now, and the doctor felt that the problem that necessitated the procedure should likely be solved completely now. He also said it's an outpatient procedure and she'll likely be able to go back home from Kooteni Medical Center in Coeur d'Alene as soon as tomorrow. Shobhit and I agreed we would stop in to visit her for a bit on our way home as we pass through Wallace on Saturday.

Christopher, after being a little annoyingly uncommunicative about this early on, sent out an update via group text on Facebook Messenger not long before the surgery -- to which I replied to everyone with the above updates. Christopher had included the likes of Gail, Danielle and even Sherri, and I have to give him credit for that. I really appreciated who he included on the updates he had. Mine was the latest update, but I didn't have to decide who all to send it to; all I had to do was reply.

So now I guess I'll do a few captions before getting ready for bed.