Breakfast at the Yellowstone Mine Cafe (ditto dinner last night) in Gardiner, Montana just outside the north entry to Yellowstone. I am dumbstruck at the most wondrous inner wall (look for later photo posting) in this rustic restaurant which is decorated with ancient, rusted geological implements – but in a good way. It is just so brilliant and innovative. A form contains probably thousands of large segments of quartz crystals which are locally mined and have been slipped, one upon the other and stacked within this open wall so the huge slabs of crystal are visible from both sides. Hard to describe it is so innovative, but tune in later for pictures and you will be amazed.
The dinner last night was pricey but good. I had a nice filet with appropriate and delicately prepared vegetables, but a ludicrous and hard-to-believe baked potato. It was about the size of a child’s toy football! I was incredulous. This isn’t even Idaho (where they sometimes use Boxed Potatoes, as we discovered), but it didn’t seem like a potato that had grown by Mother Nature in the real world. IT WAS ENORMOUS! I am a gardener and have grown my share of potatoes – even ones that delighted and sprang up in the compost pile, but who needs that much starch?
The breakfast this a.m. at the Yosemite Mine was perfect (I’m a french toast connoiseur) and it was a perfect preface to our drive north through lower Montana. Who wouldn’t want to live there. But then the skies turned grey and heavy and the wind and rain buffeted the van and the entire stretch across Montana from west to east was an E ride, to say the least.
Yet gloriously, just as we crosssed over to North Dakota (ancestral stomping ground!) the skies parted, as they say, and the heavens were suddenly at their most magnificent and we drove into the old stomping grounds of Teddy Roosevelt who actually said he couldn’t have been President without his North Dakota experience. I admonish anyone who elects in their lifetime NOT to go to the North Dakota Badlands, Medora, and the Painted Canyon, that they will have missed a primal and beautious and heart-rending expression of our Mother Earth that is a little known treat. It made our day.
Can’t wait to see some photos of the journey. I love route 93 which takes you from the flat desert up to the Twin Falls. The juxtaposition from the Great Basin desert to the mountainous Idaho terrain is stunning.