Friday, July 10, 2009
On July 2nd we rolled into Yellowstone National Park. We explored the park by bike until the 8th seeing amazing geyser basins (which look like they should be on another planet), canyons, sulfur hot springs and everything else Yellowstone. The park was quite crowded with people, mostly RVs and car campers. Yellowstone had great deals for hiker/bikers. five dollar campsites just reserved for hikers/bikers. The rangers and staff treated us much differently since we weren't like the rest of the crowd which hardly ever gets 100 feet from their car. One lady Amy, who worked in one of the lodges gave us her employee ID card. We'll see if it ever comes in handy. In the park we meet a lot of nice people, most of them hikers/bikers. On the 8th we left Yellowstone for Grand Teton National Park. There was some road construction through out the way and at one point the construction workers gave us a lift through a one lane route in the bed of their pick up. Grand Teton is amazing! We have camped along Jackson Lake for the past two nights, taking short day hikes when we feel up for it. Yellowstone was great but the vibe of Teton is much better. A lot less touristy/amusement park feel and a more active crowd. Right now we are sitting in the beautiful Jackson Lake Lodge looking out at the sharp Teton peaks. The plan is to ride/camp in the park until the 13th where we will then head to the town of Jackson,WY. The Parks have been amazing so far but one thing they lack is the "Trail Magic" of the Great Divide Route.
Friday, July 3, 2009
I am home, resting the knee, if you consider exploring the mountains resting. I head to Boulder Canyon, hike through the hills looking for amazing climbing spots. There is a river, whitewater and rushing through (its high and fast this time of year). Here and there are ropes to cross over on. I put on my harness, clip and, and cliffhanger style I pull myself across. At one point I dipped a little low and half my body was imersed into the rushing river.
Acutal climbing will take place sunday. I will try and maybe hike Pikes Peak this week.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
After a 6am hail storm we departed Upper Lake for Island Park, Idaho. We crossed the continental Divide at 7,800 feet and descended into Idaho. Out of Montana after nearly 750 miles. The Idaho side of the divide was full of trees and mountains unlike the sagebrush plains of southwest Montana. After a fairly easy 32miles we arrived in Island Park, ID. We chowed on 5 dollar foot longs and relaxed in the park. We decide to stay here for the night instead of riding the extra 2 miles off route to a campground. We were eventually kicked out because the park was owned by the RV park across the street. The owner let us stay camp for free on one of his sites if we left the park by night fall. Can't complain with that. We spent the night at the gas station eating a dinner of chili cheese dogs and a dessert of carmel sunday cones. Fred then came up with an idea to alter our route and ride to Seattle. We soon realized this was unreasonable but did some brain storming and decide to spend the next two weeks biking Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. We couldn't be this close to the parks and not spend some time in them. As we fell asleep an insane thunderstorm came and went in a matter of 10 minutes.
Today Jeff departed at 8am with "The Pirate" of Lima, MT. It was strange riding without him. The ride was a long, windy battle over 57 miles with spectacular scenery! The route took us through the Red Rocks National Wildlife Refuge and skirted the Centenial Mountains. The headwind was so brutal at one point that it took about 45minutes to ride 3 miles. around mile 50 We took a break at the ranger station in Lakeview, MT to eat dinner at a picnic table. Ramen and Chef Boyardee, yum. The rangers even let us use their microwave inside. As the station was closing Fred asked a Ranger about vending machines in town and was told there were none. But the Nice Ranger lady walked over to her house and brought back 2 sprites and 2 mikes hard lemonade. nice cold drinks to relax with once we got to camp. At Upper Lake Camp the mosquitos were terrible. So terrible that we built a fire to fend them off then took shelter in the bivys by 9pm.