Day 18 Yellowstone - Portland to Portland Anniversary Ride - CycleBlaze

June 5, 2018

Day 18 Yellowstone

Chilly morning!
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Lewis River Gorge
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Bridge Bay Campground, Yellowstone NP

Started out at 6:30 this morning hoping to beat some of the traffic heading towards Yellowstone. The section of road from Coulter Bay to Yellowstone on the John D. Rockefeller parkway was awesome. Nice wide shoulders, even when we did have a car or RV pass us, we had plenty of room. We reached the south entrance to Yellowstone at about 8:30 and there were probably a dozen vehicles in line to enter. We got in the queue and quickly realized that we were surrounded by mosquitoes. We just kept swishing them off of us while we moved forward. The car in front of us and the one behind us offered us bug spray, but we declined the offer for various reasons: we’ve both had enough deet over the years to kill off a few brains cells, bug spray clogs the sweat glands and makes you feel all sticky and it’s a pain to wash off if you don’t have access to a shower, which would be the case this evening. We were ok with swatting for a while and contending with a bite or two. (Not as bad as being on Naked and Afraid, haha.) The lovely shoulder that we had immediately disappeared. They’ve clearly resurfaced the roads in Yellowstone several times over the years and each time they do, the shoulder diminishes. Traffic wasn’t too bad, but we definitely felt our bodies tense up when we’d see that both directions of vehicles would pass us at the same time. Invariably on a curve as we climbed a hill. We laughed at a one mile straight section when there was no traffic either way. There has to be some strange convergence theory to explain that! 

We climbed up 1000 ft along the Lewis River Gorge to the Yellowstone plateau. Like looking at a postcard every second. If I’d stopped to take a picture at every beautiful view, we’d never have made it to camp. We stopped at Grant Village for a lunch break, then turned to head towards Yellowstone Lake. We had no need to go to Old Faithful as we’d each been there at some point. The ride along the lake was beautiful, especially on a little side road Jon found that took us off the main road for a few miles. Only crummy part was the wasp or hornet or something that stung Jon right in his thumb as we were riding. We stopped and cleaned it up and put some antibiotic ointment on it, but it continued to get puffy and stingy. We thought we had Benadryl in our first aid kit, but no dice. We just had to hope they had some at the campstore. We got to Bridge Bay Campground an hour or so later and they did indeed have what we needed. Then we had to see what we could do for camping. As we entered the area, there was a sign that said “campground full”, but we were able to get a site anyway. Apparently they have sites designated/reserved only for hikers/bikers, so we have a nice little wooded site. Not as secluded as last night’s by any means, but flat ground and trees. The wind is quite strong off of the lake and we cooled off pretty quickly. Time to rinse off a little and put on warmer layers! Jon took a little nap once the Benadryl kicked in, so I organized our food/water/toiletries to put them into the available bear box. I guess the bears are pretty active around here. We cooked up our dinner and took a stroll down to the lakeshore for a while. By the time we came back, most of the campers had arrived and a few started their campfires. The whole park was a waft of smoke from the green wood they were selling at the gate combined with the winds. Kind of sad, but campfires are always fun to have. We crashed around 9, ready for an early start tomorrow.

Today's ride: 61 miles (98 km)
Total: 2,907 miles (4,678 km)

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