Our 2021 Road Trip #28: From Sheepeater Cliff to Mount Everts

Yellowstone Huckleberry Ridge Tuff road!

The frequently photographed portion of Grand Loop Road as it vertiginously curves around Huckleberry Ridge Tuff before heading down into Golden Gate Canyon.

The Grand Loop Road around Yellowstone kept going and going and going, and so did we…


Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. We were each raised in a household that couldn’t afford annual out-of-state family vacations. We’re geeks more accustomed to vicarious life through the windows of pop culture than through in-person adventures. Eventually we tired of some of our self-imposed limitations and figured out how to leave the comforts of home for the chance to see creative, exciting, breathtaking, outlandish, and/or bewildering new sights in states beyond our own, from the horizons of nature to the limits of imagination, from history’s greatest hits to humanity’s deepest regrets and the sometimes quotidian, sometimes quirky stopovers in between.

We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

Technically not even 2020 stopped us. We played by the new rules of the interim normal and wandered Indiana in multiple directions as safely as we could. This year the long-awaited vaccines arrived. For 2021 we agreed we had to go big. Our new primary objective was Yellowstone National Park, 1500 miles from Indy…

As we continued north past Willow Park the parade of steep overlooks and geological flamboyance just wouldn’t quit. We had no choice but to keep stopping, ogling, shooting, marveling, and soldiering onward. The closer we got to the end of our journey, the more urgent it seemed to catch all the things despite our fatigue. With the exception of our lead photo (and how could I not lead with that?) the sights in this chapter are represented in the order experienced and, varied as they are, were all taken within the space of a single half-hour.

Sheepeater Cliff Yellowstone!

The fortress-shaped Sheepeater Cliff is a long stretch of basalt formations. The sobriquet comes from the nickname of a Shoshone tribe known for their very specific diet.

Sheepeater Cliff Yellowstone!

Anne helpfully took a selfie for a visual frame of reference and for family back home, but not in that order.

Yellowstone stone rectangle!

Vistas continued unabated, except this one containing a weird stone rectangle. Was it a crypt? Time capsule? Electric meter? Desmund’s bunker?

Swan Lake Yellowstone!

Swan Lake, another modest body of water dwarfed by the neighboring flora and formations.

trumpeter swan!

Swan Lake isn’t just randomly named, as evidenced by this pair of local eponymous trumpeter swans.

trumpeter swan!

“What. What are you doing? Do you mind?”

Yellowstone prairie dog!

A nearby prairie dog tries and fails to evade Anne’s lens.

Swan Lake jazz hands!

Anne shows the wildlife cameras are harmless. Photo taken by some stranger in yet another quid pro quo tourist exchange.

Huckleberry Ridge Tuff Yellowstone!

At left in our lead photo is one edge of Huckleberry Ridge Tuff, a miles-long formation created by a long-ago massive eruption.

Yellowstone cliff over river!

We parked on the other side of the road from the Tuff. This was the view on that side of the road.

Yellowstone National Park!

More tuff, more cliff, less talk, more rock.

Glen Creek Yellowstone!

Hundreds of feet below those scenes was Glen Creek.

Rustic Falls Yellowstone!

Apart from all the rock towers, Glen Creek’s best feature was 47-foot Rustic Falls. At last, a name that needs no explanation.

Yellowstone blackbird!

A creepy blackbird hung out at this lot, watched our every move, and helped snarl traffic a little more when it flitted down to the asphalt just as four different parties were trying to leave at the same time.

Yellowstone rock formations!

Random cluster of small rock formations.

Mount Everts Yellowstone!

Not so random or small: Mount Everts, clearing a good 7800 feet. It flaunted its magnificence at us as we approached not only the end of Yellowstone, but of Wyoming itself.

To be continued!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my faint signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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