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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If it’s Tuesday, this must be Montana

That about sums it up.  We lose track so easily of what day it is while traveling.  But I know on Tuesday we are supposed to arrive in Montana at West Yellowstone, and by golly, we did.

We only had 155 miles to drive today and it was a very easy drive.  While we gained about 2,000 feet in altitude, there were few curves on the drive and we made good time. 


A good view of road conditions on Hwy 20 to Yellowstone


You can see there is no snow here now, but 2 weeks ago there was 10 feet!


This road was mostly in great condition and the sky was fantastic!


Here you can see just how straight the road is.


Some of the mountains surrounding Yellowstone NP.

The park here (Wagon Wheel RV Park) is nicer than we expected.  While we are unable to get a good satellite signal due to the trees, the hookups are really good and the site we have is quite long.


The RV parked at Wagon Wheel RV Park

We walked to a place a few blocks away for lunch.  They have buffalo burgers which are a nice treat.  We are at 6561 feet here at our campsite.  That makes it a bit hard to breathe as we are not use to the altitude.

As some of you long time readers may recall, I had trouble last year in the Grand Canyon campground due to altitude.  Since I am missing part of a lung, I only have about 80% of a normal person’s lung capacity.  The problem I had in the Grand Canyon was that I could not sleep due to shortness of breath.  I was fine when sitting up or standing up, but when laying down, I couldn’t sleep.

For this trip, I’m thinking I just don’t get enough oxygen between the lost lung capacity and the high altitude.  To verify this, I have a little fingertip device that measures my pulse and blood oxygen content.  At home, I generally have 96% as an oxygen reading. 

2011-06-21 18.28.06

Here you can see, I am reading 91 for the oxygen which is actually much lower than it should be for a normal person.  Don’t worry, it came up to 94% after a few minutes of rest.

So tonight, if I have problems sleeping here, I will have this device alongside and check my readings.  If they are low, I will sit up or change position to see if it helps.  I’ll report the results tomorrow.

At 4pm we went over to the IMAX theater here and watched two movies.  The first was titled “Yellowstone” and unfortunately, was more entertaining than informational.  The second was “Lewis and Clark” and was really good.  I didn’t realize that only one of the party died on the trip.  That was surprising.

I did learn that Yellowstone was formed by a volcanic hotspot that created three massive calderas.


Sign along the highway about Yellowstone

Tomorrow we will head into the park and probably visit Old Faithful.  We should have good weather for that, then the next few days may have some thunderstorms.

Finally, I leave you with this little teaser:


There is actually a logical story that explains this cake decorating.  It shouldn’t take you too much effort to figure it out.  Send  a comment if you can make sense of it.


Sue and Doug said...

I have seen this before..on the cake please write..Best wishes Suzanne..and underneath that write..we will miss you!...thanks for the laugh!

John Bardin said...

Big Dave,

The Buffalo burger sounds good and Carol's calamari expierence was funny.
Verleen and I saw the Lewis & Clark movie at the Portland IMAX a few years ago.
I read the paragragh about your blood/O2 levels to Verleen and she said it was a good idea (the device) and to effort for 92or>. Stay healthy my friend.
Thanks for the stories and pics.

Your friend,
John Bardin

Donna K said...

Dave do you have oxygen for when your levels drop or is that not an option? Hope you are feeling well enough to enjoy the park.