Day 81, to Grant Campground, Yellowstone National Park: A morning of bison and bubbling bogs - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

July 12, 2022

Day 81, to Grant Campground, Yellowstone National Park: A morning of bison and bubbling bogs

This was our view of Mud Cauldron, in the Mud Volcano area. Steam rises from a huge bubbling pool framed by green. A gentle mountain ridge makes up the horizon in the background (well, the half of the horizon that you can see behind the rising steam).
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(This note is a little less relevant now, but I'll leave it there even though I'm now coming back to this post a few days later and adding photos:) Editor's note: Internet access has been very spotty in our current area, and uploading photos doesn't seem to be possible. I'll plan to revisit this post and add images later, but no promises on when that might happen. On the front page of the blog, recently updated entries are noted with special symbols (there's a key at the bottom of the list). Those symbols are the indication of new content such as the addition of photos. — CG

Tuesday stats

Start: Bridge Bay Campground, Yellowstone National Park

End: Grant Campground, Yellowstone National Park

The Daily Progress: 25.2 miles. In addition to those miles (which were southward), we did 19 miles northward without our gear to go see Mud Volcano and Sulphur Cauldron in the morning, before returning to camp to gather our stuff and head south to Grant. (We rode past Grant on Monday and so we were retracing some steps today but returning there. The portion of Monday's journey beyond Grant, to Bridge Bay, did not actually contribute to our "progress" along the TransAm, but it certainly was progress toward seeing interesting things, as you'll see in Dani's notes about this morning (below).

Elevation at endpoint: 7,856 feet

Ice cream flavors: Coconut and "Graham slam" for Chris, huckleberry fudge for Dani

Lodging expenses: $11 for hiker/biker campsite

Food expenses: $42 for lunch, 55 for resupply of snacks, 12 for ice cream. $109 total. 

Dani's notes

We began our day by biking to the Mud Volcano geothermal area. Like yesterday, I was struck by the diversity of geothermal features within a short distance of each other. I loved the look of the steam billowing into the cool morning air.

I used a squat toilet at Mud Volcano because how often do you encounter a squat toilet in the US?

We were treated to several animal sightings during our excursion. We saw a herd of elk (with babies!), a bison walking in the woods, a bison taking a dust bath, a bison RIGHT by the side of the road that we didn't see until we were almost upon it, a bison chilling by a mudpot, a bison shambling down the white line of the highway, and three handsome bull elks with enormous antlers grazing on the side of the road.

As mentioned, here is a vision lying down right next to a bubbling, steaming mud pot. The bison was chewing something very steadily. We later learned from a fellow campers two that a bison was here two and a half days later. We have to assume it was the same one.
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After our early expedition, we wolfed down some oatmeal and broke camp just before the 11 o'clock check-out deadline.

After second breakfast, we admired a natural bridge (mmm, so natural, very bridge-y) and then biked to the Grant Village campground. On the way, we were beset by tragedy: WE RAN OUT OF SNACKS.

Rectifying the snack situation was the first goal in Grant Village. Actually, lunch was the first goal. After lunch, we spend $50 on two days' worth of snacks. Then ice cream. Then showers. Then dinner. Then bed.

We are sharing our campsite for the night with a another TransAm cyclist (Bill, WeBo) whom we met about a mile before reaching camp. Bill is in his 60s. He's backpacked extensively (most notably the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail), but this is his first bike tour, and he doesn't seem to be enjoying it too much.

Today's ride: 25 miles (40 km)
Total: 2,988 miles (4,809 km)

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Keith AdamsAs I'm due to arrive in Yellowstone in a couple weeks I'm especially interested in your experiences and impressions. We will cross before then so, assuming we actually meet on the road or in a stopover town I'll hold my questions until that happens.
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