Between Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Park was a nice homey visit to Red Lodge, MT. This is a little historic town that supports skiing in the winter and park visitors and events in the summer. Also, known as the gateway to Yellowstone Park via the Beartooth highway and Steve’s childhood stomping grounds until he left for college.

Steve was excited to do the drive on the Beartooth highway mainly to study how well I’d handle it; he figured it would be entertaining. I tend to have “slightly” elevated anxiety on tight, curvy, cliff hanging type roads. On our last Yellowstone park day we had made our way north up to Mammoth Hot Springs then continued through the park via HWY 212 eastbound. This portion of the park was beautiful! I’m sure the bison enjoyed all the attention I gave them as we made our way east.

Meandering wherever I want because I can!

Click: Big boy takes a walk!

Cook city was teaming with bikes

We made our way along the highway which is also a designated National Scenic Byway All-American road.  The summit sits at 10,947 and there’s room for all to pull over and scan the horizon. 

Our drive corresponded to an annual, very large, motorcycle rally event; visualize string of bikes + us + string of bikes on the way up and on the way down!  It felt like the rig (meaning us) was a 🐋 (whale) in the midst of large, fast school of 🐟.

Down the Pass

Down the pass we go! Through the valley and straight into scenic downtown Red Lodge. More bikes? You Bet.

2019 was the 25th year of the rally.

Destination Red Lodge included a Mooch-docking parking location at an old school friend’s quiet property away from Red Lodge’s main street and the bikes. We did enjoy an evening walk along the bike lined main street.  At our temporary home base, Cooper was able to enjoy a little freedom and mowed grass! And we enjoyed nice sunsets. Simple pleasures are not taken for granted.

Sunset Spot @ Brent & Marge’s place

We all enjoyed our hosts parking spot which was accompanied by great dinners, conversation (including stories of a younger Steve), deer wandering by and lovely sunsets.

Fun exploration over a few days ensued. Jeep took us up to Hellroaring Plateau and we also hiked up to set eyes (and catch my breath) on Glacier Lake. You can read up on those here: Hellroaring Plateau and Glacier Lake.