Day 17 – Cody to Idaho Falls

Today the rally organisers gave us a route through the Yellow Stone national park but no time limitations as long as we arrived in time for diner at the hotel in Idaho Falls.

Sounds easy but the route they gave us was more then 525 km and the sections through the famous Yellow Stone park took much longer then expected due to the strict speed restriction and the relatively strong holiday traffic. It is now holiday in the US of A!

In the morning we left the hotel at a leisurely pace. Most of the rally cars had already left the car park when we arrived to pack our car.

The first 150 km took us through stunning mountain landscape with hardly any traffic. We climbed again to 2700 meters and the views from there are breath taking. How much can one take at one given time? There was an occasional stop for roadworks but in general the traffic was light and the going was good.

We arrived at the entrance gates of the Yellowstone national park at around midday and after paying the $30 fee for the car we drove into one of the world’s largest National parks.

However the further we got in the busier it got and the speed restriction is 45 miles an hour.

Grace had suggested we stop at ‘ Old Faithfull’ a place she had visited on her 70’s trip with hot spring/ geysers spitting large plumes of smoke and hot water.

It took us over two hours driving into the park to get there and once we got there we found a sort of Disneyland scene with car parks full of holiday makers, RV vehicles and camper vans.

Around the hot springs there were thousands of spectators waiting for them to erupt which, as you will understand, does not happen on a time schedule. Some of the visiting tourists actually think that a park warden pushes a button every hour to set off a hot water explosion.

However while waiting for this to happen the average American tourist spends its time eating large quantities of very fast food. Grace and I both bought a nice wrap and a diet coke and while watching the springs we observed the eating habits of the other visitors.

Without upsetting our own friends in America who are all fit and lean, these average American tourists are at least one if not two sizes bigger then we are. Everything resolves around food and soda drinks. It is not really funny and maybe the next president can make the American diet an important point on his agenda.

We stayed at the springs for an hour and then continued our way through the park towards the west exit of the park. The going was slow because every now and then the traffic stopped because a buffalo or bear was spotted alongside the road. It is impressive to see these animals so close by but after a while you want to move on.

We only got to the exit of the park by four o’clock and then there was another 125 km along various highways towards our night stop in Idaho Falls.

In the distance Grace spotted the Grand Teton mountain range still partly covered with snow. Very high and impressive.

Just before Idaho Falls we crossed into the state Idaho where our great friend Joe Jay Jalbert was born.

So Joe Jay just for you we stopped at the sign and took a picture with our car to prove that we were there….

In the afternoon the weather was hot and I think in the coming days it will stay hot. We drove with the top down all the way but I think tomorrow afternoon if its is as hot as today we will keep the top up as the sun is really very hot.

Tomorrow and early start for another long rally day.

Six hundred and twenty five km plus a regularity section in the afternoon.

Good night,

Mick and Grace