Day two, Saturday. Starting out at Louis Lake, my plan is to get from Lander
through Yellowstone and just into lower central Montana. The ride into Louis
Lake from the south was 10 miles of narrow gravel road. The ride out to Lander
was 20 miles of the same. I led the way with Mary and Fred following in
their van for the first 5 miles or so until we ran into a crowd of cars, people
They were conducting a Search and Rescue mission for a missing cross country runner, so when I got stuck behind a long line of cars kicking up dust, and driving at washboard making speeds, I said the hell with it, and left Mary and Fred behind and took the rest of the mountain at a decent clip. I met up with them again in Lander to get gas where we split up and they went to Riverton and I proceeded north on 287.
Ripping along again on wide open road I stopped at a little rest stop in the middle of nowhere and had to get a picture of something I'd been seeing for a while.
And here it is, the Essence of Wyoming.
What you're seeing is some 180 degrees worth of Wyoming skyline.
No there's nothing else.. That's it.. It's the skyline I'm talking about. Other than a few spots around the mountains, this is the overwhelming impression I get of how everything looks whenever I drive through Wyoming. Wide open, grey green grass and brush and a few low canyons cut through the plains.
The run up 287 toward Yellowstone was FAST.
Almost no traffic, relatively straight roads and
miles of visibility. I made two runs up
to an indicated 132mph (actual 117mph).
Togwotte Pass was beautiful, tight and twisty, but I got stuck most of the way up behind some wiener in a Trans-Am going 35mph in a 55mph. He did it the whole way up. I finally passed him and then had to stop to take a picture.
This is the first view of the Grand Tetons.
Of course the digital camera can't do em justice but hey, I tried.
I stopped, took a picture, walked around.. admired the view, finally got back on the bike and caught the Trans-Am about 3 minutes later. Now it was being followed by a line of about 10 cars, including a school bus full of impatient church-going children and old ladies.
I turned north into Teton National Park at Moran Jct. on the way to Yellowstone stopped and ate lunch. A couple miles further down the road I finally got my chance to take some better pictures of the mountains.
I was born in Jackson Hole at the foot of these mountains, but I moved
away before I ever got a chance to really appreciate them..
Then came Yellowstone National Park. I didn't stop. I didn't take any pictures. Traffic was abysmal. I ran into the Trans-Am again.. The speed limit through the entire park is 45mph. That wouldn't be so bad except that no one ever actually approached 45mph. After struggling to pass a line of cars nearly a half mile long, I was Dis-heartened to find 3 motorcycles (Honda Goldwings) had been holding everyone up at 35-40mph for no apparent reason. After passing them, I putzed along at 50mph for probably 10 miles before I came to another car going the same way. *sigh*
They were doing construction near Old Faithful so I got stuck behind another half mile long line of cars putzing along in the dirt and ruts at barely 5 mph, once again held up by one slow moving tour bus.. After passing about 20 cars I happened to notice that I had just passed a park ranger. I figured there was no going back then, so I passed the rest and got myself out of Dodge.. Not fast.. just.. not stopping.
West Yellowstone borders Big Sky Country (Montana for you Easteners.)
I saw one of these on the way out of town.
I thought about it, and I think 85-90 is Reasonable and Prudent. Don't you?
I finally slowed down at Sheridan MT, to find a place to camp. I ended up spending the night here at this beautiful little campground at Mill Creek, several miles into National Forest land.
And this is the cute little bivvy bag I spent three nights of the trip in. It's really as small as it looks. 7 feet long, 2 1/2 feet wide and 2 feet tall. I can just fit my air mattress, my sleeping bag and me in there.
The previous camp site tenants left a huge pile of dry wood so I sat and watched the fire and listened to the thunder and ate my cold fried chicken for dinner.. And it didn't rain after all.