Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 16

I started by going back to Yellowstone to complete a good loop around and check out some sights I just passed last night because it was dark and I was cold.

Weather served me well 2/3 of the day, mostly sunny and hovering around 20. Keep in mind that these are pretty high altitudes - I haven't seen a point below 2,300m.

Pace was kept serene and just above the speed limit - 80-90km/h. There's just too much traffic and wildlife for anything faster, besides it let's me easily ride with right hand while holding the camera in the left (mostly clutchless shifting).

Speaking of traffic, my worst enemy are RVs. They are wide, slow and ugly. I've seen full size busses towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee with bicycles on it's tail. I would ban those montrociries from driving during daytime. Fortunately the only time they really bothered me on this trip was in Yellowstone. Everywhere else I just blew by them as fast as I could to show them what they are missing.

Speaking of wildlife, the oversized wild cows on steroids they like to erroneously call "buffalo" are everywhere in Yellowstone. The darn animals have no respect for vehicular traffic and rules of the road - they just stroll around willy-nilly. I was following a herd down the road for more than half an hour, along with a dozen cars and two park rangers. They ar huge and look really imposing with their big heads and wide shoulders, but appear to be just like our domestic cows in character - quite tame. They always moved out of my way and after seeing the first 50 I was in no mood to wait for them or follow them slowly.

The highlight of the day has nothing to do with roads, scenery, sights or riding. I park at one of the more popular geyser areas to go for a walk. As usual, left almost everything on the bike except my wallet, phone and camera. I activeted the alarm as always (just as a deterrent). As I was completing about 20 minute loop a couple approaches me and the lady asks if that's my blue Suzuki in the parking lot. Damn, someone must have nocked it down, I thought. Nothing bad happened, lady said, nothing to worry about. It's just that a crow landed on my seat, unzipped all three zippers on my tank bag and did a thorough inventory of the contents. It took everything out except the 2L hydration pack that was too heavy! Then the husband showed me the picture of a bigg-ass crow standing on my tank bag. I begged them to send me the picture and I hope they will. If I was there I'd let it do whatever it wants and take pictures. It beats watching geysers hands down in my book.

After getting out of the park (a lot of interesting places skipped for the sake of time) I planned to go over the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge Montana and then back to Cody Wyoming. Well, it wasn't meant to be - Beartooth is still being cleaned of snow and is closed for traffic and the weather looked quite threatening too. I had to satisfy my lust with Chief Joseph scenic highway and its Dead Indian Pass which is almost as good.

Came to Cody (of Buffalo Bill fame) early, checked in, washed two days worth of sweat and road grime and went to Alma Hotel for a nice Bufallo Burger and Moose Drool beer. A fitting end to the day.

It's raining now, I hope it stops by the morning. I hate to start the day in a rain suit. Speaking of rain suit, I've reluctantly put it on today because it was starting to rain and it looked like I'm definitely headed towards a heavy shower. Well, I got rained on more while I was putting the suit on than thew whole 100km after :).