The People Were Heard: Road to Cooke City Open
I made a drive through Glacier National Park and enjoyed some camping this Memorial Day weekend. Drove through Glacier National Park? I'm sure that caught your attention. When you drive highway 2 from the east to get to West Glacier, you actually end up driving through Glacier for a little bit.
Well, if I can drive through Glacier to get to the Flathead, why can't I drive through Yellowstone to get to Cooke City, just like I can drive through Yellowstone National Park to get to West Yellowstone, Montana. Those were a couple questions our listeners asked on the radio last week, calling for the road to Cooke City from Gardiner to be opened up.
The people were definitely heard on this one. As we mentioned last week, KULR-8 reporter Luke Laster traveled to Cooke City to interview business owners who described being shut off from the rest of Montana. Then, a young man from Bozeman was arrested for attempting to drive to Cooke City. His video got shared far and wide here in Montana. We also heard from him firsthand on our statewide radio show.
Late last week, without much fanfare, Yellowstone National Park opened up the road for travel to Cooke City. The AP had a report on Saturday night.
The Yellowstone Insider also had a report on Saturday noting that the announcement was made "with no public notice"
Yellowstone officials opened the North and Northeast Entrances, with visitors allowed to drive directly through the park for Silver Gate and Cooke City access.
The order from Yellowstone is pretty specific: the gate is only open to those recreating in Cooke City and Silver Gate, with no stoppages or recreation in the park.
Hats off to Yellowstone for doing the right thing, and using the scalpel instead of the sledgehammer. Hats off to Montanans for standing up and doing the right thing. As for the governor, thanks for nothing I guess.
By the way, Memorial Day weekend was also the weekend that you can typically drive the Beartooth Pass from the Billings/Red Lodge area to get to Cooke City, but that got shut down by snow. I'm happy to report that other than a small amount of brief rain, the weather actually turned out very nice near Glacier. And while Glacier National Park is shut down, there is a ton of things outside the park to explore. We took a short drive to Hungry Horse Dam, and that in itself is an impressive drive.
Prior Post from May 18, 2020- Must-Watch: Cooke City Shut Off from Rest of State
The governor reading from a script while he keeps an entire community shut down and shut off from the rest of the state...can't even stand on his own two feet and say what he thinks. Has to read to the script Chuck Schumer sent him.
That was my unedited reaction Saturday night after watching this must-see report on KULR-8 TV, the NBC station based in Billings, Montana.
I was in Gardiner, Montana recently and snapped some photos outside the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Even if you just want to make a drive to Cooke City, the locals told me, the National Park Service won't let you through unless you are on "essential" business.
KULR8 reporter Luke Laster traveled to Cooke City, Montana and talked with several local business owners who feel locked out from the rest of Montana. It's a fact that is even more discouraging now that the Wyoming side of Yellowstone National Park is opening, while the Montana gates will still be shut.
"Why can't Montanan's come through that park. There is no reason. They can travel anywhere in this whole state, but they can't come through that park," says Leo Gaertner.
Watch the full report below (shared with permission):