Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 4: Livingston to Medora, Rainy Day Women #34 and 48

Day 4:  Livingston to Medora, Rainy Day Women #34 and 48

QOTD: Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.

Pics: Mexico Lindo,  various shots in TR NP South including THB at scenic overlook of I-94, prairie dogs, bisonploppen and horsenploppen, N Dakota license plate (are there really that few cars here?), no wonder Custer’s group got picked off so easily

Weather: In the high 70s, and cooler than in Bay Area. Great visibility (the theme of the trip?)

Early start from Livingston, breakfast of Trail Loaf toast, yogurt and fresh fruit. Say goodbye to B and her great hospitality and hightail it east to Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota: NP #34 and state #48 for THB. Lunch on the way in Glendive (aptly named) for tostada, enchiladas verde con pollo, rancho beans and rice and ice tea, $27, at Mexico Lindo (not bad and easily the top rated Yelp spot).

After 6 hours of pretty scenery through Montana, we arrive in Medora and spend 3 hours in the south portion of TR NP on the scenic route, hiking half of the Jones Creek trail (though rarely seeing the creek) and other short walks. It is no Yellowstone, it is actually not that scenic, we’re hoping for something better tomorrow in the north portion of the park, 70 miles away.

Check into the Rough Riders hotel (in time to see pics being taken of the bride and groom while the purple-dressed bridesmaids look on), which in the theme of Medora has a Teddy Bear in TR get-up on the bed (for sale, not a freebie). THB doubts the music from the reception will keep him up tonight.

After much consideration, THB and DB opt not to eat at the place where they put your steak on a pitchfork and deep fry it or the place where they present a patriotic gospel Medora musical. Choices, choices, choices…

Dinner in the hotel dining room: two pastas with salads, two glasses of wine and a beer, $70. And, a pre-dinner local IPA brewski, another $5,

Yes, it seems like we are in the land of a zillion stars; the problem is THB would have to stay up until the wee hours and that is not going to happen, nor is THB able to get up early enough to post sunrise pictures. Now, if someone said THB could see the northern lights, maybe there’s an alarm clock around here somewhere.

Day 3 Bozeman and Livingston

Day 3: Bozeman

QOTD:  A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues

Pics: None of Bozeman (Is it a good thing? THB forgot to bring the camera along today), 2nd Street Bistro, Sacajawea Park

Weather:  Cool accelerating to high 70s at mid-day and low 90s in late afternoon and evening, clear skies and longggggg visibility

Dept of Correction: no “e” at end of Livingstone (“e” remains at end of Yellowstone)

Breakfast to sourdough rye toast at B’s and then slices of the Trail Loaf at Wild Crumb in Bozeman (another bakery worth a detour!).

Hike on Drinking Horse Mountain (phew, THB is glad we went early, it’s getting hot) and then tour of downtown Bozeman (thriving, very few vacancies on Main Street) and a spicy lunch at La Tinga: pork and pollo verde tacos, rice and beans, tamarindo ice tea, total for three, $18 (a bargain, and very competitive to better than many Bay Area taquerias).

Nap in Livingston (no e) and then dinner in town (no e) at 2nd Street Bistro, a very good French style place: endive salad and pear and pecans and pumpkin seeds salad, scallops, local duck breast, cassoulet, amber ale, gintini, and bottle of very good Gascogne (with e) white wine, $160 for three.

Book Review: well, half a book review. Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood, Anne Enright. A memoir of delivering two children in her late 30s. Good when discussing childbirth (and how not good that is) and then turns into pablum as the kids get past the first few months. Unfinished

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 2: Yellowstone National Park

Day 2:  Yellowstone National Park

QOTD:  To announce there must be no criticism of the President…is morally treasonable to the American public

Pics: In and around Yellowstone NP; the pic of the couple taking a pic is while we were stuck in traffic awaiting road construction to free us and then we saw them later except either she’s with a different guy or he changed his t-shirt

Weather: Gorgeous, clear, breathtaking visibility, starting in mid 50s and ending in low 90s

Breakfast of Arizmendi rolls and moccachinos, $1.75. Off around 6am to Yellowstone, 50 miles from Livingstone. Touring the north, northeast and middle of the park interspersed with short hikes. Picnic near peak of Mt Washburn of chicken salad, leftover watermelon and feta salad, Sinclair’s baguette and sourdough rye  from yesterday’s farmer’s market, Pezzini artichoke hearts in oil (from Castroville), melted chocolate cookies. More touring and short hikes after lunch.

THB will make a broad generalization: when today’s outing is combined with Old Faithful and the rest of the western part of Yellowstone (seen 10 years ago), this is the pretty much the grandest of the 33 National Parks we’ve visited. It’s not really close: unbelievable vistas, a picturesque river, terrific waterfalls, spectacular geysers and geyser filled areas, hoodoos, terraces, wildflowers, and wildlife (bison, goats, sheep, deer, elk, etc.). And, a very pretty lake that THB has not made it to yet. This was the first National Park, and it seems to have retained its title against all the subsequent contenders (though THB hasn’t yet made it to all of them, he’s trying). NUMBER ONE…visit!

Dinner at B’s of leftovers and fresh greens from farmer’s market, Sweetgrass IPA and CA wine. Much exhaustion…off to bed in the near twilight (nightfall must still be 2 hours away)