Day 19: July 11, 2000
Missoula, MT to West Yellowstone, MT
(286 miles)

Today was a travel day to get from Missoula to West Yellowstone. We stopped for breakfast at the Rock Creek Lodge on the banks of the Clark Fork River which is where the movie "A River Runs Through It" was filmed. The Rock Creek Lodge proudly offers Rocky Mountain Oysters on its menu, and is the home of the annual "Testicle Festival" each September. What a delightfully tacky place.

We were taking I-90 eastbound, and stopped again near Three Forks, Montana, at a bakery and restaurant called "Wheat Montana". The employees of this establishment hold the world record for turning standing wheat into fully baked bread in 8 minutes and 13 seconds. Pretty impressive, and pretty tasty, too.

Finally we got to Bozeman where we took US191 into West Yellowstone, and of course it started to rain. But the shower quickly passed, and we were soon comfortable in the Gray Wolf Inn & Suites. Very nice.

We did the tourist thing in West Yellowstone this evening, and found The Grizzly Discovery Center right across the street from our hotel. Here they are housing about 10 grizzlies and 10 wolves that, for whatever reason, could not survive in the wild. All 10 wolves are in a good sized enclosure similar to a zoo exhibit. When we visited it just before sundown, the wolves put on an amazing show. For no apparent reason, they all started howling at the sky. They were just a few feet away from us, totally oblivious to our presence, all sitting on their haunches, with their heads pointed straight up at the sky, and howling really loud. It was really something to see and hear. I took some pictures, and they will show what it looked like, but the sound was really impressive.

Tomorrow we will visit Yellowstone, and return to this hotel to stay again tomorrow night. That means we don't have to pack the bike tomorrow! Yea!

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Rick Brookes
ST1100, VFR750F, Hawk NT650GT
1998: 50cc Quest
1999: Bun Burner Gold
Summer 2000: BBG 3000, Four Corners Tour

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