Day 55 - Grant Village, WY to West Yellowstone, MT - Can('t) Hurt Me - CycleBlaze

July 6, 2021

Day 55 - Grant Village, WY to West Yellowstone, MT

Bike tourist

Here is our campsite. Dianne's tent was in the center but she packed up and left before 7!
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We woke up around 630 today and made breakfast. Dianne was fine around 7 am but we didn't leave until 930. Everything was wet again, so there wasn't much motivation to get going. It was also a bit cold and got to 39* last night. The first part of the ride was a 15 mile climb up to cross the continental divide twice. At one of the pulls offs we talked to a family traveling from Florida for a good while. They gave us some oranges and had a lot of positive energy.

Mark talking to the other tourists
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The following downhill from the pass was fast. It almost made it more dangerous because the cars didn't expect cyclists to be going 30. At one point a 40' motorhome was riding only a few feet behind us downhill. Mary turned around to give them an unfriendly wave and they backed off. Shortly after that, and unbeknownst to us, a car was really close behind us. It rode up right beside mark and he was telling at them. I guess they didn't move so he hit their mirror and threw a golf ball at them. I just heard yelling and saw a golf ball flying down the road. Mark caught up to us and gave us a brief summary with the cars all still behind us. I had always talked about breaking off mirrors and throwing items, but didn't ever think it would happen. Now that it was happening, I was prepared for a violent encounter. Luckily all the cars passed without further incident. 

View descending from the pass into the basin where the fountains are. Probly almost lost my phone trying to get this one
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We made it to old faithful just as it was erupting. We found some food to buy for lunch and by the time we were done, it was about ready to go again. We figured we might as well stay. It was awesome, but I enjoyed the smaller fountains north of it.

This might be castle fountain
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There is a path you can bike along to see most of them and then there is a gravel single track that takes you up back to the main road. After old faithful, the main road had a shoulder, so that made the ride alot easier. The traffic also picked up because we were approaching the grand prismatic spring. After passing a mile of cars, we decided to forgo seeing the prismatic spring. The kind approaching the spring from the west entrance was even further. We probably rode past a 2 mile length of cars. Our side was almost dead since everyone was caught up. I can't imagine how frustrating Yellowstone would be in a car! We had about 20 miles to go past the springs and it was mostly downhill.  We were going through the plains areas between the mountains and hoped to see some wildlife, but we made it all the way through Yellowstone without seeing any wildlife.

No wildlife, but these mountains are awesome
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We passed into Montana and made it out of the park into another tourist area: west Yellowstone. It seems that if you want to do day trips into the park, but don't want to camp, you stay here. It's very touristy, but we got food food for dinner. Our plan was to go out of town 3 miles north to get a campsite, but tim and David texted to say the site was full. We lucked out and Mark found a camp site in town at an RV park. It's not ideal, but has showers and we can walk to get groceries and even get a coffee in the morning. We showered up, set up the tents, and went back into town for second dinner at a taco truck. We also got good word of a nice ice cream spot. No vegan ones, so that's too bad, but Mary bought a jug of chocolate soy milk, so we just drank that instead. We walked back to the RV park and it rained for a few minutes before we went to bed. The locals have been assuring us that they don't usually get rain ever since we entered Wyoming, but it's has rained most every day for the last week. I sure hope it lets up because most of my clothes are wet. The good news is that the bar down the road moved the live music inside, so it might be a bit quieter tonight.

Impromptu picture. Alex took a professional one
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Jeff LeeAh, West Yellowstone. In my experience, the biggest tourist trap in the United States of America. I can't imagine what motels or cabins cost there this year. It was horrendously expensive on my tour in 2019, and of course, due to my poor planning, I ended up spending two nights there.
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2 weeks ago

Mileage:54
Altitude gain:1900

Today's ride: 54 miles (87 km)
Total: 2,935 miles (4,723 km)

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