Well, we made it down to the Lake after a pretty full day of driving.
And, we were tired.
You may recall that we left pretty early in the morning so we could drive from Bozeman to Yellowstone via the Beartooth Hwy, US 212. It was a fairly long drive but nothing crazy.
We also had plans to stop at the scenic features along the East side of Yellowstone, but we ran out of steam and had to skip the Canyon area. There was quite a bit of traffic and plenty of people in all those cars and buses. It was a good move because all those people would have been a little annoying!
We had dinner plans for the evening at the Lake Hotel Dining Room – I made reservations months ahead of time. We got a charcuterie platter that was great, but WAY too much. It was enough for at least 6 people. Luckily, we were smart enough to share a burger and fries.
After dinner we headed to a little mountain next to the lake, called Lake Butte. We heard about it as an excursion that is offered, and I tried to book it, but it full months ahead of time. I read the description and it sounded like they just drove you to the viewing area (a parking lot).
So, I took a look at the map and figured we could just drive up there on our own. We saved $35 a piece! And, we didn’t have to ride on a bus with a bunch of other people.
While we were on the way we saw this guy on the road. He stayed in his lane and never exceeded the speed limit.
The Mountain Chicken (aka Rock Ptarmigan)
As soon as we got out of the car, there was a small family taking pictures of a bird, a Ptarmigan. Elizabeth asked me what it was so I said it was a ptarmigan, stumbling over the pronunciation like normal. Then, I followed up by saying, “it is like a mountain chicken.”
One of the kids in the family taking pictures heard me say that. The whole time we were there we heard that one boy mention the “mountain chicken” over and over again. In fact, he said it so much that I bet that will be a story that he keeps on telling… “That time at Yellowstone Lake when we saw the mountain chicken at sunset…”
It turned out to be a fairly clear evening with very few clouds. That actually made the sunset look a little less exciting. Now that I am looking at the pictures again, I see that it does look pretty cool. It seems pretty silly to complain about a sunset because it wasn’t cloudy enough! It was a fine sunset and we had a great time watching the daytime end.
On the way back to the Lake Hotel, we saw the nearly full moon. It looked pretty cool, but the most noticeable thing was the reflection in the very still lake.