THE ROADS CHRONICLE – A Traveler’s Diary [May 11, 2020]

West Yellowstone continues to be a quiet safe-haven for us. When we arrived, we were of the understanding that all newcomers from out of state were to observe a 14-day quarantine and prepared for what was probably to be our easiest lockdown since the whole pandemic started. For the first time in two months, we have access to full hookups for our RV as well as trash.

Different rules for different states

While we were on the road, we quickly realized each state had different rules relating to travel. In Idaho, we noticed many rest areas were barricaded and in Utah we were required to complete an online questionnaire within 3 hours of entering the state. Most freeway travel was open and access to fuel centers weren’t an issue. Before we came to Montana, we made sure to check on their current restrictions and as one of the states least affected by Covid-19, Montana was already in the process of re-opening businesses before our arrival. Things are changing almost daily, so if you are planning any travel in the near future, make sure to check each state’s status before you depart.

If you are curious to see what the latest updates are in your area, refer to this Guide to State Coronavirus Reopenings and Lockdowns.

We are free to do….?

After arriving in West, we found out from our employer that the quarantine does not apply to people brought into the state for work. So we are free to move about, but nothing is open. This is typically the time of year when the businesses in town start coming to life and while they are allowed to open, most are choosing to delay until Yellowstone does. So our exciting outing for the week was a trip to the post office and a quick run to the grocery store.

Yes….Billie walked around like this for about 10 minutes

Abbey continues to love daily walks and got spooked by a fox the other evening. The dogs have a new best friend in the neighborhood….a gentleman in a truck stopped by and chatted with us for a bit during one of our walks and just so happened to have a supply of dog biscuits, which made the pups quite happy. Abbey made hers disappear in about 30 seconds and Billie saved hers until we got back to the RV.

When will Yellowstone open?

We’ve been getting asked this question a lot lately. The answer is that it could be relatively soon:

With states surrounding the park loosening stay-at-home and out-of-state quarantine rules, we may see a Yellowstone opening plan as the Memorial Day weekend approaches.

That being said, this would be a phased opening with limited services reserved for day-trips only at this point and plans for the hotels and concessions within the park to open within a month after phase one.

Workamping update

Since the candy store we are scheduled to work at for our workamping jobs this season is not open yet, we offered to do odd jobs around the owner’s property in the interim. Russ learned to be careful what you offer as he spent a good portion of Saturday morning powerwashing walls on a building that is going to be repainted. He was soaked and sore by the end of the day!

I’m doing some research on some items that our bosses would like me to help them list for sale online. They have four really cool antique wagons (one is a John Deere) and an antique cast iron furnace that they would like to get rid of. We’re waiting for a day with good weather to pull the wagons out and take some nice photos – don’t worry, i’ll share them with you!

Russ got the ‘bug’

Russ occasionally gets bit by the artistic bug and over the last week, he has been inspired to create several different designs for merchandise (shirts, mugs, totes, sweatshirts, etc) that we have posted onto teespring. Let us know which one is your favorite by commenting below!

Speaking of shopping..

I’ve been doing a bit of shopping myself! Since the laundromat is closed and I have been handwashing laundry since mid-March, we invested in a small portable washing machine and dryer. We just got the dryer on Saturday and are still waiting on the washer. I’ll do a follow-up post on that soon once we have been able to use them. I’m hoping they work well as hanging out in the laundromat has never been my idea of a fun time!

Last but not least!

Happy Birthday to Stacey Forrest! We met Stacey and her husband, Chris this fall when we went to Gatlinburg, TN. If there ever was sunshine embodied in a person, Stacey is it!

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