Wapiti, WY (7/31/14 – 8/3/14)
We spent another long weekend camping just outside of Wapiti, WY. I think my Southern upbringing causes me to constantly say, “Wa-PEE-tee,” but it is pronounced “WAP-it-ee.” Yes, we found that out the hard (or embarrassing) way…”You mean “WAP-it-ee?” “Yes, yes of course I do. What did I say? Oh, silly me.”
It was a pretty easy two hour drive from our house. By the way, has it been awhile since you saw a Big Boy (as in the Shoney’s or Frisch’s Big Boy)? Well, we found him. In Wapiti, WY:
Not something you expect to see in the middle of nowhere! It seems even the locals are confused. Read here.
Wapiti Campground is sandwiched between two other campgrounds, both of which require hard-sided campers. Can someone please explain to me why you need a hard-sided camper in Elk Fork Campground to the West and in Big Game Campground to the East, but not at Wapiti, in the middle? The campgrounds are within a few miles of each other! Do you think the “Big Game” from Big Game Campground can’t make it the mile and a half to Wapiti? We had some folks tent camp next to us at Wapiti. If you ask me, they were asking to be bear snacks. “Ooooh, look, burritos!” Seriously, the bear-proof food containers at each site were about the most difficult containers to get into that I’ve seen. If my options were sleeping in a tent or a car, I would have been in the car.
On Thursday, we set up camp, which wasn’t hard since there were no hookups. It was another back-in site, but we got this!
We leveled the camper and got ready to light a fire. Mother Nature had other plans – it started to rain. No problem with the camper – aah…camper life is good!
On Friday, we we spent the better part of the day trying to get all the permits required for our kayaks. This was somewhat discouraging. I don’t know about JR, but I didn’t move to Montana to be more “regulated!” Anyway, it seems non-native organisms are being brought in on boats and messing with the local ecosystems. I’m sure the Wyoming Fish and Game folks would appreciate that watered-down (ha ha) explanation. Regardless, Wyoming is trying to prevent further damage. Mussels seem to be a big problem. So, when we were asked where our boats had last been in the water, JR wanted to say, “Musselshore Lake.” But, honestly, we find the Park Ranger-types don’t have a great sense of humor. So, he just said, “East Rosebud Lake.” We had to get permits in Cody for the State of Wyoming ($15 for each boat). Then, upon entry into Yellowstone, we had to pay for two more permits ($10 each), and get our boats and paddles inspected by a park ranger. And, if we make it through to Grand Teton Park this year as we are trying to do, we’ll have to do another set of permits and inspections. Sheesh.
We were a bit worn out from the regulatory run-through, so we went back to the campsite and played some cornhole, cooked dinner, waited out more rain (yea camper!) with some card games, and sat by the fire in the evening. The stars were amazing.
On Saturday, we intended to get up early and head to Yellowstone Lake. But, with heat for climate-controlled sleeping and a very tired dog, we were able to sleep in until 9am! I can’t remember the last time I was in bed until 9am, especially considering Scarlett was in the same room! She WAS tired! We finally made it to Yellowstone Lake.
You must “zoom in” on the picture above. That is JR right in front of a hissing fumarole! We paddled over a few warms spots in the water as well, and had hot water bubbling under the bottom of our boats!
We had a blast paddling around. Not too far from the fumarole, we pulled up on a small beach and JR got in the water! It was chilly!
We got back in our boats to go float with a snack.
We were looking at this cloud and the sun’s rays…
And it started raining.
We sat out there anyway and enjoyed the views.
After that, we went back to the campsite and let Scarlett swim in the Shoshone River.
I was scared (imagine that). With all the rain, the river was fast-moving. I always tell Scarlett that if JR weren’t around, she’d never have any fun. She did fine. I think she really likes the fast-moving water. She can get in a certain spot and tread water in her own little “Endless Pool.”
We waited out more rain Saturday night, got up Sunday morning, packed up and headed home. Another good trip, but it’s always good to come home.