Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 7 Yellowstone

For those of you that are interested, here is a small file PDF map of inside Yellowstone to give you a better idea of where we were.

I honestly did not realize that Yellowstone was that big. It was 106 miles from Cooke City to Old Faithful, one way. Now you cannot go to Yellowstone and not go to Old Faithful. We headed down from the NE gate and took a left at the Roosevelt Tower this time and came down the East side of the park. It is a beautiful drive down by Yellowstone Lake. Notice the sky and the water are the same color blue? Gorgeous I tell you!

The only problem? TRAFFIC... Yep, because that road between Norris and Madison was closed there was more traffic on the Eastside. Bumper to bumper for 30+ miles at 45 mph if you were lucky. I was amazed, I never thought I would see that many people in a national park at one time.

We got down to the area around Old Faithful and had to find a parking place. Luckily parking bikes is easier than a 4 wheel. We wandered down to the ranger station to see what time it was due to blow again and found we had an hour. We also found that we had cell service for the first time in two days lol... So I uploaded some trip notes and took a few pics with the phone and we found a spot in the shade to wait for the blow. Of course let me remind you that these features are sulfer based. Sulfer STINKS, rotten eggs galore, so some of the features were anything but pleasant. Pretty but YUCK! We got to see Old Faithful blow and I will admit it really didn't do a thing for me. It sure didn't look as fascinating in real life as it did on the National Geographic channel....

Of course once it blows everyone bails and I sure didn't want to sit in a traffic jam trying to get out of their so we headed out. We stopped at the mud pits on the way out and those were interesting to look at. Liquid rock... hard to imagine. Stinks like hell though lol...

We were coming back up through the East side of the park and once you cross Norris Road that leads to the East gate, traffic just disappears. No complaints about that. We rolled back up into Lamar Valley where the buffalo are. We got behind a SUV with three adults in it. No kids, just adults. They are slowly pacing an old bull as he walks along side the road. Now there is traffic coming at us and then they stop because they want to see the bull too. Now I love buffalo, I think they are the most majestic creatures on this planet but I would have pulled over at one of the many pull offs the signs tell you about. A little tongue in cheek sarcasm there sorry. I am watching them pace this bull and I can tell all this bull wants is to be left the hell alone so... hehehe I am awful. Now picture them less than two foot from this bull to their immediate right. Now my bike is not a quiet bike, I have loud Jardine pipes, so... hehehe. I pulled up right behind their bumper, less than two foot from this bull, pulled in the clutch, and racked the pipes twice :-)... Now the bull just ambled off to the right but the people in the SUV shot me some nasty looks, but traffic was moving again so.... lol.

Ah but it wasn't to last. We made it less than a mile down the road and everything just stopped. Both directions for as far as you could see was stopped. Now at this point I have killed the bike and we are sitting there and I look down the road for the cause. Now picture a HUGE old bull and he just ambled right out into the middle of the road. No problem. Everyone stops and waits, he will move right? hahaha NOT! Nope, he looks right, looks left, shrugs and lays down LMAO! Yep, lays down right smack in the middle of the road and nope, he ain't movin' for nobody... Now I am a country girl and I have dealt with livestock traffic before but watching these city folks get tweaked having to wait was hysterical. They even went and got a park ranger to come down and clear the bull out of the road. Can you imagine what that bull must have been thinking??? "Damn city people, always in a hurry. They are in my backyard and they can just wait" lol....

Of course the rangers I am sure get tired of dealing with the pettiness of people. I couldn't do it. My hats are off to those lucky few who get to work in the most pristine work environment ever created....

Well by this time I am just plain wore out and ready for dinner so we head out after the traffic jam. The speed limit in the park is 45 mph. Personally that is just fast enough. Anything faster and your missing the whole point of the ride anyway. Now having said that, traffic has thinned out and somehow we have picked up two bikes behind us. As we are rolling into Ice Box Canyon, I guess they thought we weren't going fast enough so they shagged ass up around us (in a no passing zone I might add) and headed up only to pass a white pick up in front of us. All the sudden you see them hit the brakes and slow WAY down. A few miles up the road as we got to the main gate, we discovered that they had just shagged ass around a park ranger... HAHAHA! Well they didn't get stopped (unfortunately) and I guess they were feeling really emboldend and goosed it coming out of the gate only to discover that traffic was stopped due to the repaving they are doing, all the way to Cooke City... LOL!

Now Bill and I come easing up just as the pilot truck turns around and I am slow racing just fine and managed nearly a mile at less than 5 mph without putting my feet down or stopping. Fat boy in front of us? Not so much... he and his twinkie friend on the other bike think they are cool with their Minnesota plates and matching Shoei helmets. We had to follow this goof all the way back to Cooke City, stop, go, stop, go. UGHH... Ok breathe, your on vacation, it's all good.

When we got to town, we pulled up at the Exxon to get gas and darned if they didn't too. Of course fat boy gets off his bike with an attitude and slings that Shoei off and stands, glaring towards us. Of course about that time, off comes my less expensive but much nicer Nolan N42 and oops, all my hair falls out of my helmet. That's when it dawns on him that he was just out ridden by a GIRL. The look on his face was priceless and Bill just nearly died laughing. Of course the filter between my brain and my mouth has never been very thick, I just had to make a comment about how this little ol' girl from Texas, that has only been riding for a couple of years, just out rode some middle aged poser from Minnesota. Oh and did it without breaking one traffic law. :-) He just nodded and walked away. I just smiled and headed for dinner.

Day 8 to come... Thanks for riding along guys!

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