6/10 Day 24 – a little rain, and than smiles!

6/10 Day 24 – a little rain, and than smiles!

Day 24 5/10

Cameron junction Mt to Madison junction campground in Yellowstone Wy

Miles -74?

I know I’ve talked about the wind a lot the last few days so bear with me for one more here.

Amusingly when I got up this morning all the TransAm racers who had left the night before are back. Apparently they’d made it 15 miles before they have up and turned around. They were exhausted. They got a ride back to their turnaround and I started off.

More wind. It was frustrating. There’s just nothing you can do except grind out the miles slowly. It’s boring and tedious and painful. And it was cold. The sun was hiding behind clouds and rain showers cropped up randomly. I took a break at a highway rest area to warm up.

Eventually I made it to the Earthquake Lake visitors center and ate some lunch. The 35 miles to get there had taken 4.5 hours. I warmed up inside again and learned all about massive earthquake in 1959 that had caused a massive landslide and wave in the area. The stories were scary.

I pushed on and found that the wind had shifted a little. I could ride easily. It was wonderful. I cruised around the lake and felt good. Eventually i made the turn south for the last 10 miles to town and hit some more wind. Heas down. Power through.

In town I made some plans. I attacked a McDonald’s and stole wifi and power. The weather forecast looked slightly perilous for Tuesday when I was planning on going over a 9600 foot pass. I talked with the bike shop owner about and I decided to hunt up some rain pants. Luckily the outfitters across the street had a good pair on sale for $12. Perfect! I also figured I’d need a little more food so a stop at the grocery was needed. And last but not least my Rear tire was having issues again.

I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid about it, or there actually is a leak in the tube or it was just the valve was open a little and not screwed down, but I put some more air in. I also finally decided to pick up a spare tire. I know it may be overkill but this is one of those things I think I’d rather have and never use than not have and need. I was very up in my head when I was in town. Trying to think of scenarios and possibilities and getting very angsty. Even calling home to the folks to check in didn’t help. The last few days had just been tough. Like “I feel like quitting” tough.

As soon as left town and got to the gate of Yellowstone though…. That weight got lifted. There was no wind. The weather would do whatever weather could do. I was in Yellowstone. I did a duck walk on my bike to give the ranger my entry receipt and I was there.

I know it’s mostly in my head but getting to new places can be very abrupt. I noticed immediately when I got to Montana the differences from Idaho. Getting into Yellowstone and Wyoming… I could smell fresh pine. And feel the sun. It was the power of dreams of so many people.

The river flows beside the road from West entrance and you follow it. Crystal clear water. Mountains besides it. All the traffic EA coming out of the park at the end of the day and I was the only one going in.

Several miles in there were several huge elk grazing by the side of the road. The looked quizzically between grass chewing at the people taking pictures.

As I cycled through two TransAm racers passed me while I was taking a picture. We rode together and gossiped for a mile until the traffic came to a standstill. Why? Bison.

A herd of 40 or so were munching and walking on the road. Cars stopped and folks got out to take pictures. We waited for them to cross before continuing. But they were massive. They had no care. They knew they were Kings and queens in this park.

Smiles on my face as I made camp. Sometimes just a small change of scenery of all that’s needed. Or a bacon cheeseburger.

3 Replies to “6/10 Day 24 – a little rain, and than smiles!”

  1. Such beautiful scenery, especially the expansive and expressive sky. The grizzly story reminds me of the one you told about awaking to the sound of moose munching near your tent on the Appalachian Trail. Glad you moved on from the bear.

  2. It always amazes me that people get out of their cars to take pictures of bison… selfies even…as if they are just bigs dogs, or statues.

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