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Yellowstone 2011

By Dave and Deanna Moore

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Last Updated;  February 22, 2012

Saturday, June 18, 2011, 7:40AM

We left Bartlesville Oklahoma this morning  for our long awaited vacation trip to Yellowstone and back.  We start planning these trips in the winter months which gives us lots to look forward to in the springtime.  The plan is to make a big loop from Yellowstone National Park to Zion National Park and on to Las Vegas, where we can visit the granddaughter and her family and then back home.  We are going to have an overnight stop on the first day at a KOA in Fountain Colorado south of Colorado Springs.

We took the southern road (Kansas Highway 166) west across the bottom of Kansas to I-35 then north to Wichita picking up Kansas Highway 400 west to I-35. 

The drive west on Kansas 166 is a fun drive.  A nice wide two lane blacktop with wide shoulders, long stretches of straight road through those slow rolling hills that eastern Kansas is known for and punctuated with little farming/ranching communities that are absolutely beautiful.  This drive will make you greatly appreciative of America and what we have. 

We swung north toward Wichita on I-35 (now a toll road) and worked our way around the west end on I-235.  At the Kansas highway 400/54 exit we made our obligatory incorrect exit and headed east toward the middle of downtown Wichita.  We figured that one out pretty quick and shot a U to put us back in the correct direction.  It was fun driving by our exit and saying "Hey!  Right there is where we should have turned!".

The city quickly disappears as the Kansas flatland turn into farmlands and cattle ranches.  It wasn't long before we went through Greensburg Kansas and had to remember that awful day of May 4th, 2007 when a tornado destroyed 95% of the city.  Greensburg still has lots of the scars with cement driveways leading to empty lots and the scattered houses with many empty lots in between clearly identifying the disaster these poor folks endured. 

As we traveled further west the land became so flat that you could see no hills from horizon to horizon.  By the time we arrived at Dodge City it was really easy to picture Indian hunting parties running buffalo across the plains or long lines of settlers in covered wagons making their way down the Santa Fe trail toward Santa Fe, New Mexico or Bents Fort in Colorado. 

We stopped off at the Lamar, Colorado visitors center, enjoyed the outdoor displays and wonderful visitors center staff. 

Heading north on I-25 and it wasn't long before we arrived at the Fountain, Colorado KOA.  Kind of a long day but we were excited and still felt rested.

 

North from I-35 Visitors Center toward Wichita

Kansas Feed Lots

Feed lots west of Dodge City - Peeeuuu!!!

Lamar Colorado Visitors Center

Lamar Colorado visitors center

Lamar Colorado Visitors Center

Lamar Colorado

 

West out of Wichita on 54/400

The sleepy grain bin in Western Kansas on highway 54/400

Lamar Colorado Visitors Center

 

Propeller for GE Wind Generator

Blade from a GE wind generator at Lamar

 

Mullinville Kansas. A man with more yard ornaments that anywhere in America

Sunday June 19th

We were out of the KOA early and wanted to make it to the Longhorn Ranch and RV Resort at Dubois Wyoming where we had stayed in 2004.  We headed north on I-25 watching those pretty snow covered mountains off to our left as we passed through the tall skinny pine trees along the road.  Drove past the Air Force Academy but didn't see any significant activity.  One time when we came through they were landing gliders and another time there were skydivers in the air.  Not so lucky this time.  But the pines, hills and mountains kept our attention.  On north and around Denver on I-470.  Don't EVER do that.  It cost us $45 to use that stupid highway.  We wondered why there was so little traffic.  It was getting more and more cloudy as we headed north and reminded us of years past when it was raining as we passed through the Cheyenne area.  We stopped at the rest area near mile marker 7 on the Wyoming side and filled up.  This is a really nice area to fill up and has pumps just for RV's.  Easy in and easy out.  The just across the road is the rest area, Wyoming Visitors Center and bathrooms.  The rest area has lots of room for an RV and an easy in and out.  At Cheyenne Wyoming we picked up I-80 west and it started to rain.  By the time we got to Laramie we had gone through several gully washers.  Dee was driving so she got more foul weather driving experience that she really didn't want. 

 

KOA at Fountain Colorado

A nifty oldie goldie at Colorado Springs

I-80 Starting to drive through the clouds

 

Colorado Springs

 

 

 

Monday June 20th

We left Sleeping Bear about 9:00AM and headed toward Flagg Ranch and Yellowstone.

 

 

Sleeping Bear RV park at Lander WY