After lots of driving and wonderful days exploring Yellowstone, we took Thursday off to hang out at the rig and get some work done.
Smoke rolled into the Mammoth area, so it was a good day to stay inside returning emails and doing some prep work for the upcoming RV-Dreams Fall Rally in Oregon. With Rally registration "officially" ending on August 31, a couple more registrations trickled in. Actually, if anyone forgot or is still contemplating, we can keep registration open a few more days, but Sept. 7 would probably be about it.
We're up to around 65 people now.
In the afternoon, we started looking at routes and potential campsites on the way to Oregon. Ultimately, not wanting to take any chances on the many potential mountain passes, we're going to take the long route via interstate up through Montana, across the Idaho panhandle, down through Washington, and into Oregon so we arrive at least a few days before the Rally starts.
Other than that, I grilled some chicken for dinner and we did some reading before calling it a night.
This morning, we made the effort to go do the Boiling River thing that many have recommended. We invited Monte & Rose to join us, but we wanted to go early because it gets crowded and stays that way most of every day.
So, at 7:00 a.m. we drove about a mile north from the Mammoth Campground toward the northern entrance to the park. Just past the "Montana" sign where we cross into Montana from Wyoming is a parking area along the Gardner River. From that parking area, we walked a riverside trail about a half mile.
There, a small, steaming river, the Boiling River, flows out of the ground ...
and flows into the Gardner River.
The water from the Boiling River will absolutely scald you so you have to be very careful, but when it mixes with the cold water from the Gardner, it makes for a very pleasant, warm, natural soaking experience in this area where rocks have been stacked creating pools.
There was only one person there when we arrived and he left soon after we got there so we had the whole place to ourselves. That's a good thing as many sitting spots have inconsistent temperatures - too cold one minute and too hot the next. So we were able to find a place where the water mixed perfectly and stayed consistent.
We talked and soaked and watched the sun come up over the ridge. Also, an elk cow came down to the riverside, soon followed by her cute little calf. They stayed briefly, until more people came up the trail.
We enjoyed our natural hot tub for about an hour and a half. It was wonderful. :)
When we decided to leave it was starting to get a little crowded.
It's certainly easy to see why it's a popular place.
As we dried off and got back on the trail leading out, we took a couple more pics.
In that photo, the Boiling River is just below the large rocks. It actually has several breaks so that it flows into the Gardner in a few different places rather than all at once. Then you can see the middle section - the pools where the hot and cold water collide and everyone sits. Because the hot and cold mixes at numerous points, folks can spread out a bit. Then, beyond the man-made rock wall is the cold Gardner.
Soaking is limited to the times of 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. You have to be out of the parking lot by 9:00.
It's so convenient to Mammoth Campground, we may have to do that again before we leave. :)
By the time we got back home, I was starving. So Linda made us a nice big breakfast.
After breakfast, I went into Gardiner to get some propane and a few groceries. Rose was making dinner tonight and Linda was in charge of dessert.
The one place to get propane has limited weekday hours, and we didn't want to take a chance on running out over the long weekend.
Back home, after the relaxation from the hot water soak and with a full stomach, there was only one thing to do next - take a nap. :)
We both started new books and read for a short while until we fell asleep. Then a cold front blew in bringing rain with it. That woke us up and we scrambled to shut windows.
Shortly after that, we got a knock at the door. It was Paul & Denise (actually it was just Paul as I think Denise was too embarrassed to drop in on us). We told Paul to get Denise out of the car and they came in and chatted for awhile.
We had not met them before, but they have been following us and stopped by to say "Hi". They have been full-timing now for four years out of San Jose, CA. They have a motorhome and have had a wide variety of workamping jobs including being vendors at spring training baseball games in Arizona and hosting wine tasting for a vineyard in New York. Now, they visit RV dealers for a software company and make sure everything is going okay.
Before long, they were off to explore the park.
We read some more while the front blew the smoke away.
Then Linda got started on her German Chocolate cake while I continued to read.
At 6:00, we walked next door to Monte & Rose's campsite for a wonderful salad, baked bread, and shrimp pasta dinner. After our cake and ice cream dessert, we called it a night.
We didn't turn on the inverter at all tonight and were content to read rather than getting on our computers or watching TV. We both finished our new books, and started new ones.
But I didn't get very far before taking a pre-bedtime nap. It was a good sleeping day - one of those days where the sleep just naturally crept up and, before I knew it, I was out - you know, the kind where the transition is just so peaceful and the book or remote control just falls out of your hand. :)
It was nice to have a couple of days where we didn't go beyond five miles. We still have a lot to see in Yellowstone, but we'll be back so there is no need to rush. In fact, the only reason we are still here is because we have a spot and didn't want to deal with the hassle of trying to plan moves over the three-day Labor Day weekend.
I'm not sure if we'll stay in any of the Montana State Parks as we travel, but all of their campsite are first come, first served after Labor Day and their prices go down slightly for non-residents. That broadens the optons a bit.
Well, that's enough for now. We have plans for Sunday, but we have nothing in the works for tomorrow. Guess we'll just see what happens. :)