Monday, March 13, 2017

#716 Exploring Yellowstone - Cooke City

After we spy the wolf on our drive across the northern range of Yellowstone, we continue our drive to the end of the road at the northeast corner of the park.

Charles Kuralt called the drive from Cooke City to Billings along the Beartooth Highway "the most beautiful drive in America," but the road ends at Cooke City in winter and so do we.

After leaving our lonesome wolf behind, we continue to follow the Soda Butte Creek, climbing as we head east toward Cooke City at an elevation of 7,600 feet. 

Sometimes we need to share the road, but rarely with other cars.

The snow is piled high on both sides of the road...

and eventually the snow starts to cover the road.

In Cooke City, we find the snow is piled even higher.  The annual snowfall in Cooke City is 202 inches.  Back at Mammoth (where we're staying) the annual snowfall is only 150 inches.  And in Gardiner (where we're working) the annual snowfall is a mere 25 inches. 

Wolf searching is hard work, so we look for some lunch before heading back.  We can't find our way to the front door of the Hoosiers Bar...

so instead we step inside the cozy Bistro Cafe.

A snow storm is coming, so we head for home after lunch.  

Not many folks are out this afternoon unless you count the snowmobilers.

The ranger station at Yellowstone's Northeast Entrance was built in 1935 in the rustic style with two traffic lanes passing through it.  (It may be hard to see with the snow piled so high.)  When listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1987, it was written "The building was not only the physical boundary, but the psychological boundary between the rest of the world and what was set aside as a permanently wild place."  The station is unstaffed as we drive through into the permanently wild place and back to the northwest corner of the park where the snow is not so deep.

Yours in exploring Yellowstone,
Mary Jo

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