Yellowstone Park, Grant Village
Day 48 / 83 miles
Day 49 / down day
Day 50 / 93 miles
We finally got it together and left Jackson. It was tough as we had taken a whole week off from riding our bikes, but the ride to Grant Village in Yellowstone was supposed to be relatively flat with the wind at our backs. Well neither of those happened as we faced a relatively consistent headwind the whole day and once into the park we eventually passed a continental divide sign that put us at 7,988 feet and we were still going up. The ride was spectacular though as we traveled on the bike path out of Jackson passing the Grand Tetons as we made our way into the south entrance of the park. It was a long day but Ryan’s good buddy Chris Clemens was waiting for us at camp with beers and food.
We got in late, but with enough time to eat and have a few beers with Chris, getting to check out his 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon outfitted by Westfalia. It’s an awesome setup that he has been traveling in and would be our form of transportation around Yellowstone tomorrow.
So we didn’t really ease back into it, but hey we are riding our bikes across the country, what is there to really ease into?
The next day (day 49) was spent touring Yellowstone in Chris’s Van. I immediately got to understand why he and Ryan became friends. We had an awesome time seeing many of the sights, old faithful, the grand prismatic springs, but my favorite part was probably swimming in Firehole River and cliff jumping.
So after a big day touring around Yellowstone, drinking beers and enjoying our time off the bikes, we set back to camp where we got a bench near Yellowstone Lake, ate some food and played dominos for a few hours. I would love to say it’s a game of skill, but it’s not, not at least the way we played.
We tried to call it in early night, but a mass of young high school students (in the hundreds) rolled into camp and made significant noise for a while, enough where at one point a woman camping near us got out of her tent and just started screaming at them. I do miss those days.
We got up fairly early and got a group shot with Chris before heading out on the bikes. We would spend at least half the day riding just through the park to exit it on its east side. Along the way we saw elk, and a few huge bison just hanging out right on the side of the road. The park is gorgeous and the ride through it was challenging with much elevation gains and losses, but with a climb comes a downhill and boy did we get one.
Just outside of Yellowstone is Shoshone National Forest and it’s equally as breath taking, with large rock formations and mountains. We had a pretty good headwind, but it evened out somewhat with the ride being more downhill than up.
We biked to Buffalo Bill State Park just outside of Cody Wyoming. The site was nice, but the woman at the front desk made a comment that we should keep a look out for the sprinklers and let her know if any that came on where to close to our camp site and she would help turn them off. Well the wind started to pick up significantly, making it extremely difficult to set the tents up or to try and eat without anything blowing away. Just as we started to get the tent down the sprinklers came on and all hell broke loose. Luckily for us, two boys came running over to help by covering up the sprinklers with Gatorade bottles and anything else they could get their hands on. It was a ridiculous but hysterical end to a very long day on the bike, but a great one.
Miss you Muppet,