Coast to Coast for the FFB: THE ONLINE JOURNAL

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Check back here daily to read about our progress in our cross-country bicycle tour to benefit the FFB.
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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Day 68: Colter Bay to Madison Junction Campground (Yellowstone Park) (81 miles, 3064 total)

Woohoo, 3000 miles!

Today was quite a day. We crossed the Continental Divide not twice, but thrice. We've crossed it so many times now, I'm not really sure what side we are on. We failed to mention it, but we also crossed the Continental Divide yesterday on the pass out of Dubois.

Speaking of "Dew-Boys", we also failed to mention that that town is pretty cool. It has a nice restored old western feel, complete with wood planks for sidewalks. Plus you can score some tasty shakes at the Exxon station (complete with a Jackalope exhibit).

Anyway, today has been a physical one. We woke up bear-free at 5:30, packed up and snacked on some simple breakfast foods. When we rolled out and onto the road, we quickly discovered that the morning is the best time to be out and about in the park as the traffic is much lighter. Plus, the wildlife seems more active and we saw several deer.

After about 15 miles, we arrived in Flagg Ranch and decided to stop for some breakfast. At that point, traffic had started to become quite congested, so we didn't feel like we were wasting any good riding conditions.

From there, we soon entered Yellowstone and the shoulder shrank and traffic remained constantly thick. At times it was nearly impossible to make left turns as RV's, trucks, and cars zipped past in both directions. Like I said, you'd think that the government should be encouraging people to visit the park by bicycle rather than adding another car to the zoo-like roads. At least the RV drivers have been, for the most part, very considerate. I suppose they should be though, after all AK and I paid the same amount as they did to enter the park!

We did not have to pay again when we entered Yellowstone as the 10 bucks from before lasts for a week in both parks. I did harass the ranger about it though. Although he can't do anything about it, he did claim to agree with me, or maybe he just wanted me to go away. Whatever.

In Yellowstone, we've seen amazing waterfalls, awesome canyons, and thousands of acres of land that is naturally recovering from a huge wildfire in 1988. The amount of fallen trees is huge, but new growth surrounds them. Either way, the place is amazing, and the views are spectacular.

We crested our first Continental Divde crossing for the day, and then rolled down the hill for a quick bite to eat in Grant Village (right near Yellowstone Lake). Fueled for more, we set out to conquer two more Continental Divide crossings (each at over 8,000 feet).

At the third and final CD crossing for the day a small lake at the top drained into both watersheds. It was loaded with lillies and flowers that looked similar to tulips. Several people asked about our efforts for the FFB. We handed out a few business cards, and one nice RV driver handed us a donation on the spot.

Next, it was on to Old Faithful. Of course luck would have it that AK spied the geyser blasting off when we were stilla couple of miles out. When we arrived, we had to wait 90 minutes until the next "show", and it was getting late. Finally, around 6:45, Old Faithful errupted. It was a huge blast and went on for a few minutes.

By then it was getting really late and we still had 16 miles to the next campground, so we set out to blast miles. Unfortunately, we needed to race the sun through some of the most scenic sections of the park. We zipped past several huge steaming hot springs adorned with red algae dumping into the Firehole River. We even spotted a wild Bison grazing in the distance.

Soon we arrived in Madison Junction and found several people watching a heard of elk move through an open field. By now it was 8PM and we knew it was getting late, but we decided to have a look. Low and behold, we were spotted by a group that camped next to us in Dubois. Pam, Steven and their two foreign exchange students were schocked to see us again, and we were excited to see some familar faces. They gave AK a bottle of water and me a beer (I could not resist). We chatted and enjoyed our drinks while watching the elk, and then the setting sun dictated that we best be going. We said goodbye and headed to the campsite.

The campsite was full, but fortunately there is a policy that these campsites will not turn away hikers or bikers. As I was registering us for the site, AK was chatting with a man about our ride and his dog. It turns out that he is the husband of the woman that was registering us for the site. Empressed with her efforts on the ride and for the FFB, Walter decided to pay for AK's site for the night.

Anyway, Miriam (Walter's wife) showed us the hiker/biker site and we were once again excited to see Sid sitting at a picnic bench! He had been taking his time through the park and we caught up to him pretty fast.

The sun was setting, so AK pitched the tent while I cooked dinner. Next, AK raced to wash the dishes, and I crammed everything into the bear box. We are now in the tent, and we are both super dirty! We need showers something fierce. The baby wipes only go so far.

Since arriving, several other bikers have arrived. In total, there are 10 of us from all over (including twins from Fance and an Aussie). This is a great place for bikers to stay. The bathrooms are clean and the price is right.

Ok, we are off to bed. Oh by the way, we gained a day on our guidebook today!



At July 21, 2005 5:31 PM, Anonymous said...

Twins from France you say!?!!?
I think I remember a lymoric about twins from France in Yellowstone. Something about "Old Faithfull", the geezer and his gyser...

At July 22, 2005 1:47 AM, Anonymous said...

Yeah, Reeb, I remember that too. I think it had loafage in it.

Anyway, these guys have crossed so many CD`s they must be going in circles. Try to straighten them out-TAB

At July 22, 2005 10:49 AM, Anonymous said...

Too bad you already passed the Firehole. That is Reeb's favorite.


At July 24, 2005 7:57 PM, Steve Misoni said...

This is Luis Hernandez from Guatemala. Steve, Pam and I jus check your website it was nice to see you in Yellowstone and share stories, good luck and safe trip.


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