After a public town hall in Bozeman discussing health care on Friday, the First Family spent the morning and half of the afternoon at Yellowstone after staying overnight at a private residence in Big Sky.
The Obama visit was billed by the White House as a private visit, and sure enough there was no photo ops or meetings with Yellowstone visitors. Obama spent Friday afternoon fly-fishing at O’Dell Creek (over by Ennis) with press secretary Robert Gibbs and White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, a Montana native. The president came up empty after a few strikes, but Gibbs and Messina both landed two rainbow trout. By contrast, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Obama’s two daughters chose to raft down a secluded river in the area.
On Saturday the group first toured Black Sand Basin — which was closed to the public — and then drove to the Old Faithful Inn area for the 12:16 p.m. eruption of Old Faithful. There was no interaction between the Obamas and the crowd of a thousand around Old Faithful: they went directly to a cordoned-off area and left soon after the geyser erupted.
And, like so many other visitors, he and his family ended the visit with an ice-cream cone. Alas, not huckleberry.