Hank – While unpacking last night and double checking the equipment, I discovered I no longer had duct tape or a boot to repair a cut tire. You’d think we would have noticed leaving something behind when I was repairing the flats but who knows. Before we could get to breakfast, the tourists in the room next door saw us and asked what we were doing. They were impressed and asked if they could take our picture. We said sure. Dad got the camera out and mom put her slippers on and hustled out next to us too. Her dad also came out and stood next to Kathy. So we’re part of someone’s photo album now.
We had a quick breakfast and stopped by a store to get some duct tape. I don’t need a whole roll but that’s what I have now. We turned into the entrance to Yellowstone, showed my pass, and our ride began. The first 14 miles were to the Madison Campground. Along the way we saw bison grazing alongside the Madison River. We make quick work of arriving at the Madison campground. Skipping any formalities we rode into the campground like we owned the place and grabbed an empty campsite where we had a picnic lunch on the table there. The next leg of today’s trip was to the Norris Campground another 14 miles away. Stopping by a geyser, the artists paint pots, and other sites made it feel easy since we got a lot of rest breaks. We did come up on a traffic jam, which we soon learned was caused by bison in the roadway. Riding on the shoulder we skipped passed about 50 cars and got to the site of the jam. A few bison were taking their sweet time walking down the road. Using the cars as shields Kathy and I finally worked our way by the animals. There were a couple of alarming moments when one animal would stop, turn towards me, and stare. Each time I stopped and backed up hoping the beast would think I was not a threat. Whew!
We were hungry by the time we got to Norris. But there were no services there so we continued on our last leg, 12 miles to Canyon Village. In a couple of miles we found a shady spot where we had another snack. Then it was back on the road where the real climbing started. The sign said 8% grade for 3 miles. It wasn’t 8% the entire way but it was close. And at 7500 feet that was a real grind. I told Kathy there’s no shame in walking. When I walked my bike I would move just as fast as if I was in the crawler gear. But Kathy was having none of that. Even though she stopped to catch her breath she pedaled the entire way. Good on her. The road finally leveled out and then we had one more short climb and a nice descent into Canyon Village. We got our campsite, took showers, and ate a big meal. By 6:00 pm we were winding down but it was way too early to go to bed. There was still a lot of snow throughout the campground.
Kathy – I slept well last night at the hotel. Looking forward to Yellowstone today. We traveled 45 miles today with 2,000 feet of climbing (total for the last three days = 5,000 feet of climbing). Even with the 8% grade for three miles at 40 miles into our ride, there was no way I was going to walk my bike today. Not saying that my legs weren’t tired and my breathing was a bit elevated with the 7,500 feet of altitude, but I did it! Now, as far as tomorrow we will see if I can move. 😉
We had many people ask us about our travels as we stopped at the different areas of interest. But I have to say it was so funny watching the Asian folks this morning wanting a picture of us. After chatting with the gentleman, he asked us if he could take our picture as we were leaving the hotel. We said sure of course. Then his wife ran out from her hotel room trying to get her slippers on in time and suddenly stood next to Hank. The not more than 10 seconds later another gentleman came running out and stood next to me. I so wished I would have asked them to take a picture with our camera too. They were so nice but I wasn’t expecting everyone to run out and be in the picture with us…too funny!
Happy to have our climbing done today and looking forward to spending a few days in the park to explore more. Our tent site still has lots of snow around it. Hoping Hank can carry some wood that’s for sale here on the back of his bike up to our camp site. Then we can have a nice fire to keep warm. Might be adding some chemical hand warmers to my socks tonight to stay warm! Overall it was a good day…strenuous, but good. 😊