Day Nine – Putting the Amp in Glamping

Today was mostly our run to Yellowstone, which, with the CB, almost naturally turned into a karaoke medley of 1970s and 80s truckin’ tunes. I present it to you here with apologies.

More photos here.

But the day began waking on the bison ranch and strolling to see the fluffy cows. I remembered the owner telling me that if a bison’s tail was straight up it was about to pee or kick my ass, so I tread cautiously. There was a five-day-old calf trotting around and numerous pregnant mamas, but no overnight births. Zeus the massive bull eyed me suspiciously. One of the many upsides of camping at a ranch is that the free range chickens had plucked almost all the bug splat off my car.

With no real camper hookups — though I did charge the car by running a very long line into the owner’s house to the laundry machine 240v outlet — we skeedaddled to the only local destination, Symes Hot Springs Hotel and Mineral Bath, for a dunk, shower, and breakfast. This place was legit in a cowboys-once-bathed-here and yep-sure-smells-like-sulfur way. Not sure the ladies loved that. But it was authentic and plenty hot (108°).

We shot south and east on Highway 93 that our road-based audio tour told us has been called the most dangerous road in America. Traveling a maximum of 50 MPH in my jalopy rig I didn’t experience danger, though there certainly was unforeseen anxiety as the range calculation just seemed off to me. And indeed it was. We weren’t going to make it to West Yellowstone with a net elevation ascent of 2000’. So … we outright stole electrons from the only RV park we passed. Just pulled up, hooked in, slurped some juice, left a note for the site owner, and got back on the road. I’m getting good at this.

So yeah, we did some roadtrip karaoke, an homage to the bizarre sub-genre of CB and trucking-based country of decades past. Please enjoy our renditions of Convoy, Eastbound and Down, I’ve Been Everywhere, and Roll On.

The day’s payoff was our destination: Under Canvas West Yellowstone, an actual glamping site. I reserved a single night as a reward for the girls putting up with the past ten days of my ridiculousness. It was actually camping in the sense of no power, no Internet, no food allowed (to keep bears from snooping) and heat from a fire, but it was also luxury with real beds, a shower, a flushing toilet, and lots of upscale amenities. A lovely transition to the third and last phase of this trip in Yellowstone and Grand Teton.