I managed to nab getting my weekends off so I've been using the time to associate myself with some of Yellowstone's points of interest. There are a lot of them, and as the summer progresses, I would hope to cover most of them.
I do have all summer afterall.
Starting off at the Northern Entrance of Yellowstone is a little town called Gardiner Montana. It sits on the gateway of Yellowstone and in fact is the only entrance open all year round.
In the little town of Gardiner is an old graveyard. I swear you feel like you are stepping back a hundred years when you come into this graveyard, mostly on account of the rustic appearance of said graveyard and the overabundance of cactus.
In this graveyard sits a grave of one John Yancey.
To any Wrangler in the Tower Roosevelt area, specifically any who has to tell the story of Pleasant Valley on the way to Cookout (which would mean all wranglers in Roosevelt) this man's story is very familiar to us. Including the way he died. He squatted in Pleasant Valley and its because of him disturbing that area we can hold our cookout.
I paid my respects.
The North Entrance is framed by the Roosevelt arch, which was dedicated by President Theadore Roosevelt in 1903.
John Yancey caught pnemonia and died 2 weeks after going to hear Roosevelt dedicate this arch.
And of course, the sign telling you that you are entering Yellowstone National Park. I may have mentioned that if its there, I must climb it. This sign is no exception to that rule.
Gardiner is becoming my regular stomping grounds. Specifically this little ice cream store called Raccoons. I try to make it there at least once a week to update my blog and check my email. Sometimes I drag along a fellow wrangler.
Overall, I love Gardiner. Its a bit of a touristy spot, being the northern gateway of yellowstone and all, but it has a real western feel to it, like being a part of the old west. They also have a gob of white water rafting trips, I'm planning on going on at least one this summer.
A friend and I took advantage of a small town rodeo they held last night, I hadn't been to a Rodeo since Redding California in 1995 (or there abouts, don't recall the actual date). Before the rodeo they had a parade, it wasn't very big, a lot of politicians making their name known as well as some people on horseback trying to get the news of a rodeo in town out. My favorite float was obviously one of a republican politician, just because it amused me.
I hadn't been at a parade in a long time where they actually threw candy. Not since I was a child.
Rodeos are a lot of fun, I think my favorite part of it was when they got all the kids 12 and under into the ring and set loose a calf with two ribbons tied to its tail. The first two kids to nab those ribbons got 20 bucks each.
At first they put all the kids behind a line and told them to stay there as they let loose the calf. It just casually wandered into the pen not really knowing what was going on. Then the announcer told the kids to go for it. All hell broke loose as that poor calf didn't know what hit it.
No kids were hurt during the execution of this event. To my knowledge.
I didn't get a lot of pictures, but one I did manage to get is one of the Broncs named Smokey. I just couldn't help but note the coloring of this horse.
The cowboy was a rookie, I believe he managed to stay on for the 8 seconds.
When I was younger (and a major horse nut) I had mentioned to my parents how I wanted to marry a cowboy. I haven't been in an area (especially working with horses like I am) where I have seen so many cowboys in one place for a long time.
I must be in Montana.