Leaving Glacier National Park early in the morning, we had several hours to drive before we made it to our scheduled stopping point of Bozeman, MT. When you are surrounded by steep, jagged mountains, and you are driving The Scholl Bus you can plan on it being a long drive that day. The first picture shows the mountains closing in, and we knew we had to climb a pass to get over them. The bus made the climb like a champ, it just did it slowly. Thor enjoyed watching the scenery rolling by as we drove, which was his normal post while traveling.
Once we arrived in Bozeman, we pulled into our Walmart parking spot for the night, and were greeted by Mason Griffin, one of my classmates from Watauga High School in Boone, North Carolina. Mason operates Alter Cycles, a bike shop in Bozeman, so I picked up some bike parts from him the next morning as we took a tour of his shop. If you need to get bike work done, need parts, or are interested in a new bike, stop by and see Mason and tell him we sent you.
We make a quick stop at the Museum of the Rockies while in Bozeman, where the girls learned about dinosaurs and fossils. This museum is home to one of the largest and most important dinosaur fossil collections in the world. In the first picture, the girls are watching the paleontologists begin to remove the plaster case surrounding a new fossil. The last image in this group shows the newly exposed fossil.
The girls spent a couple hours in the museum, then we jumped back in the bus and headed toward our destination in West Yellowstone. The drive from Bozeman to West Yellowstone isn’t that far, but the curvy roads that run along the river add to the time it takes to get there. We also ran into some stops due to road construction along the way. It was getting dark as we pulled into West Yellowstone. We were stopped at a traffic light getting ready to make a turn and drive the last few miles to our campground destination, when it happened. The loudest squealing noise I have ever heard pierced the evening air and I knew we had to pull over to see what had happened to the bus. I got stopped in a gravel lot and opened the hood to discover our alternator had locked up and the squealing was the sound of the belts slipping on the pulley. I didn’t want to move the bus again so we went to the business that was adjacent to the gravel lot we were in. The very rude owner said we could not park there overnight and had to move, so we found a spot up the road where the owners were much more friendly. They even allowed us to use their restroom and showers (it was a cabin rental business). I got up early the next morning, removed the alternator in just a few minutes (it is the easiest one to access I have ever worked on) and took it to the local NAPA. They had a rebuilt one for us the next day, so we were back up and running with minimal effort, just a little over $400 for the alternator and belts.
We decided to drive into the park while we waited on the new alternator, so the next post will begin our adventures in the park. Stay Tuned…