Saturday, August 15, 2015

Big Sky, MT - Adventure Day 5

We were up and at 'em this morning, getting everything packed up to leave. We all did laundry last night so that we could pack clean clothes, rather than dirty ones! Smart cookies, we are!
The coffee was brewing and Patti scrambled up the rest of our eggs and fried the rest of the ham. We then loaded up our SUV and took one last group picture as we said goodbye to our cozy little cabin and Yellowstone Park!
We had to be out of our cabin by 10am and I think we were pulling out shortly after 9am!
We were headed to Bozeman, MT and hoping to find a hotel near the airport. Patti and I were using our phones and desperately trying to find a hotel. Neither one of us was having  much luck. What we could find was outrageously expensive, with very few rooms available. We didn't know if the hotels were all full just from Yellowstone travelers or if something else was going on. We decided that the best choice we had was to just wait till we got to Bozeman and hotel hop till we could find an available room!
One of our planned stops on the way to Bozeman was Big Sky. We had gotten a glimpse of this gorgeous mountain on our first day and decided then that we needed to take a closer look on our way back to Bozeman. What a beautiful mountain it is!
We stopped in what is called "the meadow" in a beautiful shopping complex at the base of the mountain. There was a really nice sporting goods shop and a health food market that had all kinds of goodies! We then drove up the mountain in this fabulous residential area to view Big Sky and Lone Peak. It seemed like every curve we went around was a spectacular view of the mountain range! The area we were driving around in is a big ski resort area and obviously for the wealthy...the very wealthy!
The following pictures are views from the residential area we drove up and around. It was very mountainous with gorgeous homes built on the side of the mountain range!

On our way back down to "the meadow", a little red fox ran across the road right in front of us! I tried to take a picture, but the windshield was dirty and by the time we stopped and I got out, he had run down into his foxhole. He sure was cute tho! 
We stopped back at the health food market, then continued our trek towards Bozeman, stopping alongside the Gallatin River, which we had been following for several miles. It's a beautiful river and fly fishermen are seen fishing all along the way. 
It was time for some lunch, so we stopped at a hiking trail hoping to find a place to relax and eat lunch. There were no picnic tables, at this stop, but there was an outhouse, so that was good...well, until I went in it and saw that it had been violated in a BAD way - YUK!! That about ruined my We ate up about the rest of our leftovers from the cabin, then got back on the road towards Bozeman. 
There is a stretch of the highway where there are linemen working, which we saw on our way in last Tuesday. They were still working in about the same area. It was so interesting to see because they were using a helicopter to transport the power poles to where they needed to be placed along the mountainous region. If you look closely in this picture, (which I snapped while driving by) you can see the pole hanging below the helicopter.
The mountain range all the way towards Bozeman is just breath-taking, however this was the last good shot I got of the mountains before we started driving into heavy smoke.
Smoke from the wildfires got so thick that we couldn't see mountains at all for the remainder of our time in the area. I was glad that it didn't effect us at all for our trip until the last day!
We arrived in Belgrade, which is only a couple miles from the airport and stopped at the first hotel available. Lucky for us there was one room available and we decided we best snatch it up!
We unloaded and then headed into Bozeman, a few miles away, and shopped the entire downtown area, which was a lot of fun. We stopped at Applebee's for dinner on our way back to our hotel and then settled in for the night as we had to be up and at the airport by 7:30am.
One more post tomorrow about our last few minutes of this amazing Adventure Trip along with some closing reflections! :)

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