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Taking The Long Way

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

If you’re ever in Cody, Wyoming, and want to get to Yellowstone there are two routes you can take, both with stunning views! One you can go through town, out past the rodeo grounds, and up the North Fork of the Shoshone River. That way will lead you out past the Buffalo Bill dam and reservoir. On our way to Canada, we took the other route. We were headed to Red Lodge, Montana. Red Lodge isn’t really that far from Cody but we decided, ‘this is a road trip, we should take the scenic route!’

Leaving Cody going North, instead of taking the highway we turned onto the Chief Joseph byway. This route will also take you to Yellowstone you simply come to a crossroads where you turn toward the Park instead of toward Montana. The regular road to Red Lodge takes about an hour or so, the scenic route…took us four hours! We were not mentally prepared for that grueling trip and apparently, neither was my poor little Subaru. The temperature outside would rise to the low 100s (degrees Fahrenheit) and then drop to the low 60s as we climbed into the mountains. My air conditioning system was not having it! It started making funny smells and had us panicking all the way to Livingston that night that we would break down before ever leaving the country! Sitting in road construction on top of the Beartooth Mountains did nothing to calm our nerves.

We also had a quick call with a driver in between Red Lodge and Columbus. Here is what I’m going to tell you about American drivers…none of them actually go the speed limit…some of them go 5-10 mph under the speed limit and many more of them go way over that speed limit. I’m not the best driver, just so you know, as a disclaimer... but for the love of goodness if you’re not going to go 5 mph over the speed limit DO NOT GO UNDER IT!!! This is dangerous and irritating for other drivers. I got behind one such slowpoke and waited patiently to pass, finally, I had an opportunity. I believed that I could see far enough ahead of her and that no vehicles were coming. I started to pass her…she sped up…and out of nowhere comes a car in the oncoming lane. Ugh, the person I was passing pulled over dramatically but I made it past her with plenty of room. The next thing that I’m going to tell you is that, if you have a close call, thank God and move one…do not under any circumstances pull into a gas station and confront the person you have perceived to have caused the situation! That is exactly what the person I passed did. We apologized for scaring her, but boy did it rub me the wrong way! It also made me extra cautious passing anyone in Montana whether they were picking a consistent speed to drive or not! I’m glad this was only a near-miss situation, I wish it had never happened at all. What was really funny is that the further we ventured into Montana or whenever we would meet Montana drivers the road in Canada, they were equally bad drivers…I don’t know what is in the air in my home state but boy am I glad to live in Wyoming!

We finished out our day with yummy queso and chips at Bogart's in Red Lodge and split a massive chicken quesadilla 🙂 we pulled into Livingston and my grandparents’ home late that night, glad to be off the road!

What is your scariest driving experience? How do people drive where you live? Any road trip tips?

Thank you, fellow adventurers! You can follow the lilmissbearpaw blog page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilmissbearpaw for sneak peeks into upcoming posts and my adventures. This will also be a great place to share your own adventures!

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