Monday, October 13, 2014

Howlin' Mad Moon

In June 2004, Kathi and I were staying at the Howlin’ Mad Moon Resort in Cameron, MT and using this as a departure spot for our trips into Yellowstone National Park. The resort is nestled in the Beaverhead National Forest. The resort has spaces for 30 RVs, cabins, a bar & grill, a laundry and a conference center. The sports bar includes Keno and Poker machines that Kathi loves to play. All the gambling machines in Montana are 80% payback, so you normally do not lose much money at their machines.

The cook was a young man less than thirty years old and he sat at the bar talking to patrons while he decided what the special of the day would be. He was very creative and proud of his meals. Everything we ate there was delicious.

On the clear, sun-shiny day of June 12, 2004 we decided to take an alternate path into Yellowstone. We turned southwest off of US 287 to Montana 87 through the Raynolds Pass, past Henry’s Lake in Idaho then picked up US 20 south back into Montana and on to West Yellowstone. US 20 is also called the Targhee Pass Highway.

Soon after we turned south on US 20, it started to snow. It was snowing so hard and such big flakes, I could not see the road. We still felt fairly safe, because we were the only car on the highway, so I kept driving at a much reduced speed. Within two minutes everything was white and the road was completely covered with snow. We discussed turning back, but we were half way to West Yellowstone and saw no advantage to turning around. Snow was falling hard enough for a blizzard, but the wind was less than 30 mph -- still this was enough blizzard for us.

As we got into West Yellowstone and the snow stopped and we saw no more snow the rest of the day. We had another thrilling trip into the park and another story to tell.

Sign for the Howlin' Mad Moon Resort. Almost no houses around, but the bar has many visitors in the evening. I'm not sure where the people come from, but I understand many drive a good distance to get there.

Our day in the blizzard

Trees turned from green to white in minutes.

Madison River beside the road

Residual snow on the mountains

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