I woke up after a restful night in the tent to the sound of horses being wrangled next to me. Some of the cowboys I’d seen the day before were rounding them up to be put in a trailer.
Another motorcycle Adventurer named Mike stopped by to say hi as I was packing up. He is a photography student, traveling across the country taking pictures. Nice guy.
After a breakfast of pancakes and bacon served up by the campsite staff, I headed out from Cody into the mountains and on my way to Yellowstone. The roads were beautiful and even included a few tunnels. Not sure what it is about tunnels that make them so fascinating.
The entrance to the park was blocked by dozens of RV’s…but the single lane road splits into 10 entrance slots to pay your fee, and I found my way to the front of the line on the motorcycle. Hehe. Glad I bought the National Park Pass…that has more than paid for it’s self.
After you get into the park, the roads get even better. The concentration of people is a lot higher, and the RV and mini-van quotient goes thru the roof. It makes for some slow motorcycling but if you can relax and let them get ahead of you, the views are worth it.
These two shots were taken from the spot furthest from any other road in the lower 48 (30 miles). It’s also further from civilization as well, Jackson being the closest at 100 miles. Pretty amazing.
Continuing into the park, traffic got backed up…apparently a buffalo was standing in the road.
I was kind of just passing thru the park…no real plans to stop and see anything other than what might catch my eye and a stop at Old Faithful. But boiling water coming out of the earth made me park and take a look. The colors were amazing…as was the smell. Peww, sulfur!
Continuing thru the park, the drive is just amazing. Crossed the Continental Divide a few times…for those that forget their 3rd grade science lessons, this is the dividing point at which water flows towards different major bodies of water. In the case of the Great Divide (pictured below), the Atlantic and Pacific. There are 4 major continental divides in North America, apparently I crossed 3 of them on this trip. Cool!
As I got closer to Old Faithful, the traffic picked up. Lots of people…huge parking lots. Signs everywhere. Instead of following the flow of cars, I just jumped out of line and went right up to the closest rock-star parking possible. Which of course is all full…but all the motorcycles just park wherever so I parked mine in a sandy island within a stones throw of the main attraction.
Apparently Old Faithful was going off every 93 minutes…and I got there with 45 min to go. So I lined up on the benches like everybody else to watch.
Ate a snack, chatted up a few people. Finally the moment came…it takes a while to get going. In the pic below, Old Faithful is in the center and other geysers are on the right and left. As it’s preparing the big show, all the other Geysers go off around it. Kinda neat.
Finally, right on time (take note NASA), thar she blows! I wish it wasn’t so cloudy, it’s hard to see the steam and water.
After seeing Old Faithful, I exited the park on the West Entrance. Stopped for some food in West Yellowstone and realized I was in Montana. Too far away to see my buddy Scott but cool to be in the very bottom of the state anyway. I had many miles to go this day to make it to Utah where I had planned to stay with a friend…so I split for the highway. I didn’t really want to take the highway but not much choice if I wanted to make up the time. I did SR20 from West Yellowstone out of Montana into Idaho Falls, the I-15 (yes the same I-15 I live a mile from down in SoCal) down to SLC. Here was my route for the day.
The sun set on me as I drove thru south eastern Idaho. Very pretty. I thought of my friend Russ who lived a few hundred miles away in Boise. Sorry man, I’ll have to visit you and Scott next trip.
I arrived in SLC later than I wanted, around 9PM. My buddy Josh and his wife Natalie put me up in their house in Bountiful, UT in my own room, very nice.