taking a bit of advice about road conditions we decide to head down the scenic
road - Route 191 - down to West Yellowstone. The drive is truly spectacular,
clinging to the hills and turning under rocky outcrops. The wildlife is almost
as spectacular as within the park and here, where the snow is less disturbed,
we get the chance to see a true winter wonderland. As we head further out into
the sticks the roads turn from merely icy to solid ice tracks. It's not quite
as bad as it sounds. The road has clearly been used by a lot of heavy trucks
leaving strong gauges in the ice which cling to the wheels of the car.
Nevertheless we take things slowly as we meander through the pristine snowy
We arrive at
West Yellowstone and fill up on petrol. Fuel is somewhat more expensive out
here, I guess sales are a bit slower at this time of year. After leaving the
petrol station we get a bit lost and end up at the blocked off West entrance
to Yellowstone park. After a bit of backwards and forwards we find the right
road that leads towards Idaho Falls. The roads don't improve for some time,
and lorries used to these conditions overtake us on a regular basis. When the
roads do clear the rise in temperature is quite sudden, and within 15 minutes
the roads are perfectly clear of snow and ice.
We stop for
lunch in Idaho Falls. At first we search for a restaurant mentioned in our
guidebook, but in the end we have to resort to a little diner we spot off to
one side of the road. It turns out to be a good choice. The food is excellent.
Fed and watered, we head further south, ending our day in Malal City. Our room
is non-smoking, but I get the feeling the owner changes the sticker on the
door daily. The air is tinged with smoke and rather unpleasant and the air
conditioning is noisy. But it's a bed and we're tired.