West–>Bozeman–>Gardner

We survived another week of work I mean we can’t really complain because we usually work all 5-6 of our shifts in just three or four days and then we have the rest of the week off together. Our boss is just too good to us. We definitely weren’t expecting that to happen, but we sure are enjoying every minute of it.

This weekend we decided to head up to the north gate of Yellowstone in Gardner to visit Charlie in his little town for the summer . It’s about a three hour drive but we couldn’t wait to see more of Montana. The drive was absolutely incredible. Still blows my mind that we get to call this place home for the summer. We met Charlie at a little coffee shop to start the afternoon. Gardner is smaller than West Yellowstone, but it’s a cute little spot.. You basically have one main street with houses and businesses on both sides. The north entrance to the park is at the end and it “T’s” off into a bunch of little “tourist traps.” The Yellowstone river runs on the edge of the entire main street. I would say it’s so beautiful but we came after some pretty nasty weather so the water was all brown and full of debris from the storm.

After coffee we went to check out Charlie’s little house/dorm room. Turns out it is just a 20’x10′ wood shed with only studs, plywood, and a roof… oh and two windows. He has a common kitchen and bathroom across the way. Quite the hippy commune! But for a first year college student paying only $125 for an entire summer, I could see how that would be incredible. Plus it is all part of the adventure right?

From there we packed up his stuff and jumped in Dessa to head up into the hills surrounding the town. He knew of this spot called Eagle Creek. Let’s just say the roads weren’t necessarily for RV’s but somehow we managed to get up there. A few times I remember the boys saying something like, “If we fall off this cliff tell my mom I love her.” Haha I think they were being a little dramatic.

But man… this place was totally worth the sketchy roads. We were surrounded by beautiful pine trees and a huge meadow that was bursting with wildflowers and every shade of green. Spring may come a little late around here but it is absolutely breathtaking. We enjoyed a great campfire under the stars. Charlie has to be one of my favorite people ever. He has his head on straight and has the best heart. It’s always such a joy to be with him.

After a full night’s sleep it was time to take him back to town so he could go to work. He has been really loving his job as a zip line guide. I hope we get to go one of these times we visit him. It was just as treacherous coming back to town as it was getting out. By the time we made it our brakes were definitely smoking, and smelling…. ooops! We dropped him off and then headed back home. This time we decided to take the route through the park. Although we were a bit overwhelmed by tourists it was still as beautiful as ever.

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