Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day Twelve

Thermopolis, WY to Island Park, ID Via Yellowstone National Park
258 Miles

Please save me from the vileness of automobiles. More on that later.

The drive from Thermopolis to Cody to Yellowstone was very pretty. Again, lots of Pronghorn, a few deer and a new animal! The wee thing barely missed getting squished by the vehicle in front of us. I looked closely to see if it was a jackalope, but it moved too quickly to spot any antlers. I guess I'll have to call it a rabbit to be on the safe side. We also saw a dugout with a wooden roof collapsed into itself.

Yellowstone is gorgeous, of course. The fire damage is still quite visible, but that didn't detract from it. We saw Yellowstone Lake from several vantage spots - beautiful!

We saw a (dead) marmot and... bison! There were four spread out fairly near the side of the road. I hope that I got some good photographs as I had to take them out the window. I think they turned out okay:

Back to the bleeping car. GRAR! We had a few miles into the park (east entrance) when it started acting up. It was shuddering and bucking and being a general pain in the arse. We stopped at the Lake House Restaurant in Grant Village for lunch (okay food, lousy service). Having the car rest for a while didn't help it's disposition. We made it to a garage in Grant Village (the park has several service stations, some with mechanics). Al (the mechanic) checked the computer and it showed that it was misfiring in a couple places (I don't know the technical details. I'm a writer not a mechanic, Captain!). Lovely. He said it would be best if we got it checked out in West Yellowstone. Oh man, did we have several motorists who were following behind us pissed off. The car really bogged down to about 20mph going uphill. I pulled over as best I could and set the flashers going, but that was really all I could do.

I found Randy's Auto Repair (which is attached to Yellowstone Vacations) in West Yellowstone and they went above and beyond the call of duty. Jay stayed late to figure out what was wrong with the car. Heather called all over to find us a room. West Yellowstone was totally sold out at any price. That's how we ended up in Island Park, ID. The Sawtell Mountain Resort is about 20 miles from West Yellowstone. It has lots of different amenities and at good price. And Heather had a rental vehicle for us (a BIG YELLOW Suburban) but only charged about a third of the going rate. Oh, and I can't forget to mention Tug! Tug is a big brown Labrador Retriever who was quite friendly.

Jay thought he'd have the car done at 11:00 a.m. or so. Mum and I got back to the garage at 9:30 and the car was done! It had needed new coils, spark plugs and plug wires. There was talk of arcing and other scary stuff I tuned out. Anyway, we had already breakfasted near the hotel so we were able to get on the road much earlier than we thought we would! Yay! I was kind of sad that we had to turn in the BIG YELLOW Suburban because it was fun to drive, but Mum insisted. We gave Tug a couple pats and we were on our way.

Mum offered to stay another day and take in more Yellowstone (I didn't even get to a gift store!). I appreciate the offer but turned her down. I just wanted to get home.

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