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Archive for July 7th, 2009

Day 211 – 7th July 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on July 7, 2009

Tuesday – Yellowstone NP, Wyoming

So, it was a cold night but Ok inside the tent, I woke up which means no bear ate me during the night 🙂 After some breakfast of trail food I had a chat with Brian, he showed me on the park map some areas I should definitely go and see. I had planned on heading west first, but he said if I wanted to see the falls, then it would be best if I did this when I was not tired at the end of the day, fair enough, local knowledge is always best. One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was that while I was working on the bike I finally worked out the chain oiler issue 🙂 Basically, there was no air in the oil line as I had thought, all I had to do was readjust the whole system because of the new style oil, which was obviously a tad thicker than normal. I had to open the ‘coarse’ control quite a bit which made the oil flow then do the stopwatch thing and time the drips onto the chain, then use the fine adjuster for normal control. The end result was the damm thing works, just like it should do; they build them to last in Germany! It means I have a brand new can of chain lube, but I won’t throw it away just yet. The bike looked nice in the blue skyed forest, better than the rain we had yesterday and the strong winds. 🙂

I headed off around 9am and the first stop was just over the road about 2 mile away, called Tower Fall marked 1 on the map. I like waterfalls 🙂

After this I headed south towards Canyon where I had been yesterday arvo, on the way I took a dirt detour up a mountain just for a look, it was not the best of roads, but doable, it is where the 19ml indication is between Tower and Canyon!

This is how I learnt about the bushfire devastation they had a while back, but just like our bush, after fire comes rejuvenation 🙂

I returned back down to the paved road and continued, you can see I am above the snow line and some of the streams are still frozen. The roads were fun though, even at the speed limit of 45mph.

Just on the other side of Canyon is the Lower Falls, these falls are impressive, just in the small space they generate some power 🙂 I actually went passed the ‘brink’ where the water rushes over and ended up having to go a full loop around a one way system to get back and take those photos, but here they are in sequence, courtesy of time dilation 🙂 Now, this is a long way down and a long way up afterwards, I am glad I listened to Brian about this 🙂

Now we can go and look at the falls themselves from further downstream, time has returned to normal 🙂

Back on the main road and further south is the ‘brink’ of the Upper Falls, this was a short walk and not much effort required, the views were incredible though 🙂 Watching water go over the edge is like the bushmans TV, it is very mesmerising, I could watch this all day 🙂

Up the road I continue to a place called Artists Point, this is where obviously a lot of artists turn up and paint the scenery as you can see the upper Falls from here, it is definitely worth taking pictures of, but I cannot paint, well walls yes, but not canvas!

After this I head down to point 3 on my map, this is where there was a mud volcano and there are sulphur springs etc, but on the way I had to give way to cross traffic. I always give way to these, size matters!!

When I stopped at the sulphur springs there was a bison right next to the road, I had not seen him when I stopped?? But I managed to get a photo or two as there was other cars parked there so I could use them as a barrier if he charged 🙂

I will say I was a bit anxious as it was closer than is generally allowed, a lot of people get hurt by these each year and I have more than enough holes in my lower abdomen thank you very much 🙂 It turns out that the bison do not really care about the sulphur smell, in fact live in and around the heat etc.

Just over the road is the mud volcano area with a large amount of individual bubbling mud and steam holes. There is a boardwalk which takes you on a loop so off I go, but keep an eye on the fellows with the big horns as you go. There were rangers around and they would sometimes shut the pathway down for a space of time while the bison walked past and over the walkway. Of course there is more than them that are dangerous here, pay attention now and don’t play in the water!

Here are some of the things to see, but you cannot get the full effect of rotten egg smell, so go eat some curried eggs and baked beans and reread this page later 🙂

These sign are all over the place, but most people ignore them and of course get hurt.

More walking and more heat, smell and fun stuff to look at, keep them eggs happening 🙂

Nearly back at the roadway which is just down the hill, you can see the dead trees all over the place and when I get on to the next boardwalk there is a bison just right below me, within 5ft and lucky I have a barrier in front of me 🙂

I was becoming very hungry by now and so I decide to make a beeline for Yellowstone itself, so it was a smooth ride south then west around Yellowstone Lake until I get to the place where Old Faithful is, marked 4 on the map.

Here I found I had an hour to wait until the next probable eruption, it varies between 60-90 minutes. I had time for lunch at the cafe, which is lucky because the line was long 😦

After a not bad lunch of a hotdog I headed out for the show, there was a lot of people so it was not hard to find out where to go, finding a seat was harder, but I managed eventually 🙂

The wait was about 15 minutes, but to start with we just got a small hiccup, I can do better in the bath!

But about 5 minutes later, it seems the previous was just a throat clearing as Old Faithful got stuck in good and proper, well worth the visit and wait 🙂

When the show was over I headed back to the bike and met Jimbo from Sydney, he is touring for a while and has a bike here and back home, a bit like me 🙂

Next stop was the post office where I sent a card to people back home, I won’t say who, it can be a surprise 🙂 I liked the attitude the PO guy had though, especially the leftovers! 🙂

Next I decided to get to the last place for the day. This was Mammoth where there is hot springs, Brian had mentioned there is a place where they mix hot water and cold and you can take a warm bath. As there are no showers at the campground, I thought that would be a nice way to finish the day. But, first off I had to negotiate very slow traffic and road works, the first bottle neck was near Madison, here there were some Elk in the paddock, total lane closure!

After Madison there was a half hour wait for road works, I sat on the pillion seat, feet up on the crash bars and listened to music, but took a few photos just for fun 🙂

Once past these at 5.30pm I managed to get myself into a favourable position and had a clear run through some nice bits of the park until I reached Mammoth Hot Springs.

These terraces are formed over time from bubbling mud and stuff, they have changed quite a bit from what I have been told over the years. I had arrived at a bad time as the sun was in my eyes for the photos, it looks like an early morning would get better photos. I went for a short walk, but I was getting tired by now and also wanted to get off the road, I had been told Bison fur absorbs light and their eyes do not glint in headlights, hmmm!

I cannot do this place justice nor could I find the hot spring bath, so I decided to go back to camp, but on the way stop at the Restaurant where they had showers etc. It was a short run back through some nice scenery, but quite shadowy, until I managed to get a shower, have a beer while waiting for some chicken wings to take away and charge my laptop, but no internet.

On the last 6 miles I saw many of these, something I wanted to avoid at all costs.

I stopped at the local store for a bag of ice and a 6 pack before heading back for wings, beers and then a chat with my neighbours.

They were cooking ‘Smores’ and I tried one, talk about sugar hit, this is nearly pure sugar.

Smores are honey wafer biscuit, with Hershey bar chocolate on it and then a toasted marsh mellow with another wafer squeezed on top, great stuff, but it sure made the beer taste crap, I had to have another beer just to fix that 🙂

There was a German chap called Robert who camped in my space as well, he had nowhere to go and was travelling in a car. We had a few beers and some more chat, before a ranger popped up and reminded us to bin everything with an odour 🙂

Myself and Jay stayed up for a fair while, until after the moon came up but it moved across the sky on a very shallow arc, latitude I guess. We also saw an extremely bright star around 10.30pm which moved like a satellite, we think it may have been the space station as we saw another satellite later which was way dimmer 🙂 It was a great day but a long one by the time I crashed out near midnight.

Day 166 miles and 267 km
Trip – 23,776 miles and 38,264 km


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