After the Kentucky Derby: Another weather detour

As we head west, we have been keeping track of the weather report for the Yellowstone National Park. It has not been good for two days of hiking we had planned, and the final report today was for snow and a high of 38 degrees. We talked to a couple from Minneapolis in the dining room at the Crazy Horse Memorial, where we had stopped to check on the carving’s progress. They said they walked the boardwalk among geysers in horizontal snow.

Then we received this email from the park: “As we are faced with workforce shortages, we are modifying our food service as well as operating dates and times at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel. . . . Considering the fluid situation in the park, you may wish to travel with some extra food items and snacks.”

We do carry food, but the prospect of being in an area of food insecurity was frightening to two people who have gained a pound for every day on the road.

We canceled our Yellowstone reservations and headed north to Billings. Drove through lots of rain, but no snow.

Some progress on Crazy Horse’s face since we visited 30 years ago, but it will still take another 100 years to finish carving the mountain into the chief’s head, hair, body and his horse’s head. We’ll check back in another 30 years.

Today’s bad weather was the first on this trip. It rained at the Kentucky Derby, but the mostly winning bets there have made that bad-weather memory fade away. Here’s what it’s been like as we traveled West:

Sunset from our cabin’s porch at the Lake of the Ozarks
Moon and Nebraska’s capital building in Lincoln, just across from where we stayed.
Alpenglow on the rocks across from our porch in the Badlands National Park.
This person is wanted in three counties for stealing rocks. However, she pocketed one here without charges.

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