The morning after our second night camping was beautiful…and it was a perfect day. We packed up the Routan and started making our way out of Yellowstone. But not before making a few stops at some amazing places.
We first stopped at the Mammoth Hot Springs. We had heard about the hot springs and how wonderful they were, but like everything else up to this point, it’s one of those places you just have to experience for yourself to really appreciate. It’s a place where the powerful shifts always taking place on Earth are so evident that you feel small and completely powerless just standing there watching what these changes have created and continue to create. I will say, it was a little nerving going with the two little ones, who were constantly wanting to run free, and though we managed to contain them pretty well, I would tell other parents that depending on your own child this may, or may not be, a good place to take little ones, especially if you have more than one to worry about. We did ok, but it’s worth the mention.
After taking in the wonders of the hot springs we made our way towards the North exit of Yellowstone National Park. It was sad to be leaving this beautiful place, though I will admit, I had my fill of camping for the next year or two (or three).
We soon reached Gardiner, MT when we started feeling hungry. As we drove through town we saw a sign for the “Home of the Hateful Hamburger” that really intrigued us and drew us in. Helen’s Corral Dive-Inn is pretty unassuming, a simple Drive-In, not much to look at, with a few seats on a covered deck outside, and a small shack where you order your burgers through a small window and then prepare yourself for a bit of a wait while they make them. But, despite the warning of the longer wait for our burgers, we stayed. It has been my experience that often times it is exactly these small, little places that hold the biggest surprises.
Now the burgers aren’t cheap, we’re talking about an average of $10.00 per burger meal, but they also aren’t your average burger. When my husband brought out his order of buffalo bacon cheeseburger my jaw almost dropped! And then the tag line “Home of the Hateful Hamburger” made total sense to me. This thing was HUGE, and man was it delicious. Caution to the wind and pleasure to the palate with this one!
It may be a very good thing Gardiner is so far away! But if you ever find yourself in town, Helen’s Corral Drive-Inn is a must-try.
After that incredible, unexpected, and very filling surprise lunch, we rolled into the Routan and continued on to Missoula.
In Missoula we had an awesome time. My husband celebrated his 20 year high school reunion, I got to meet some great friends, and a few ex-girlfriends, and had a wonderful time as well. Even the big city girl in me loved Missoula. Such a cute town, that offered us tons to do. In this video I share with you a bit of what our two days there were like. The song I chose for the video is one that the Missoula radio stations played over and over, and so now, when I hear it, it brings back happy memories of our lovely time there.