Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour


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© 2001,

Day 22 - Monday, July 9, 2001
West Yellowstone, MT to Madison, WY
14 miles

I could have gone from West Yellowstone to Grant Village (about 50 miles) in one day, but with the mandatory stops at Old Faithful, etc., it could have been too much for one day. Oh yeah, there's also the issue of crossing the Continental Divide twice. So I decided to do errands in the morning (I've been gone long enough to need a haircut) and do a short ride in the afternoon to get me closer to park attractions for the next day - what I've been calling a "moving rest day".  [Despite this explanation, one of my coworkers who has been reading these emails was "upset" at my really short mileage day.] 

The other cyclists at the hostel weren't ready to leave until about 11 AM or so. And I thought I was a slacker - the latest I had ever left was 8:30-9:00! The German lady was quite a character, she got a ride in the morning to someone's house to do laundry. 

The day's short ride was uneventful, as is was basically just to get into the heart of the park. You could see a lot of damage from fires in the park. 

There were some light showers on the ride in, but after I checked into the campsite, the thunderstorms came in, and the rain came down pretty hard. My site had the picnic table with a tarp hanging over it - I waited out the rain there for two hours before setting up camp. 

After setting up camp, I rode around to explore the immediate area. I bumped into Elizabeth, who was one in a group of eleven doing an Adventure Cycling sponsored east to west crossing. We talked for quite a bit about many things, including the pros/cons of doing a trip like this solo or with a group. Although she got along with her group OK, she was eager to have a conversation with someone else other than a group member. 

When I got back to camp there was a guy and his two sons - Jack, Jack, and Jacob - sharing the table. I didn't get their ages, but the dad was about 40 and the kids about 16 and 12. They were riding from their home in New Jersey to somewhere in Washington state. They've been kicking butt so far, making it to Yellowstone in about 30 days. Their trip is a little more "low budget" - they've only stayed in two hotels the whole trip. It was interesting to hear some of the places where they camped - like next to tall silos in the Midwest (the grass around them is mowed). Nice guys. 

The campground host offered us some wood and we made a fire, but then the rain came again, forcing a hasty retreat to the tent. 

(By the way, this was Monday's ride, I'm too tired to do Tuesday's yet...)

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