What a day! It started early with my alarm going off. This is the first time I’ve set it on the trip but traffic was bad enough last night coming in that I wanted to make sure I beat it. I hope I didn’t wake up any of the other cyclists. I got packed up and enjoyed poptarts for breakfast. I got on the road and immediately took a right towards Old Faithful. I climbed up to a plateau in the cool morning air. The sun hadn’t yet risen over the mountains and there were just one or two cars out.
I knew that there were geysers in Yellowstone, but for some reason I was surprised to see them. I got closer and made my first stop at the Fountain Paint Pot.
More fountain Paint Pot photos
It was awesome. I walked along a boardwalk over the boiling water and felt the steam. A sign warned that 20 people have been scalded to death in the park since it opened… It was already starting to get busy. I rode a few more miles down the road and reached one of the most famous geysers, the massive Grand Prismatic Spring.
More prismatic geyser photos
I couldn’t see much of the actual geyser due to steam in the cool air, but the brightly colored minerals and organisms running off it were really cool. I kept riding as traffic picked up and soon got to the turn off to Old Faithful. I pulled in to find out that I’d just missed the first eruption. I went and got some breakfast at the concession stand (french toast and chocolate milk) and went and chatted with people. I met a nice group of brothers and sisters and their kids from Maine and we talked about my trip. A park ranger came up and told me I couldn’t have my bike on the boardwalk area at all. I asked her where bike racks were and she said there weren’t any. Maybe if they provided racks people would follow their arbitrary rules. I said goodbye to my new friends and moved back a little off the boardwalk. I didn’t need to wait long until the geyser went off. It was impressive! Shooting water at least 40 feet in the air, though it’s hard to see the white water in front of the white steam
More old faithful pictures
I left as the eruption ended to beat the traffic which was futile and got back on the main road. There was some cool climbing ahead. I would pass over the continental divide twice, and set my record for highest pass climbed twice! First was a Craig Pass at 8261 feet, then an unnamed pass at 8381 feet. I got started. As mentioned traffic was getting heavy and let the large RVs and cars pass. They would mostly come in groups stuck behind one slow moving vehicle so I would ride in the road until that lead vehicle slowed down, forcing the followers to slow, then give them room to pass. I stopped at a beautiful waterfall lookout for a rest
A woman told me I was brave for riding this road. I held my tongue from responding ‘I only need to be brave because of bad drivers’. I kept climbing and after one final steep pitch reached Craig Pass, the continental divide, and Isa Lake all at the top. The lake had beautiful water lilies growing in it.
This is my second time over the continental divide. I was taking a break when I saw another cyclist coming up opposite me. I cheered him on as he made it to the top. His name was Eric and he was riding a beefy mountain bike. He said he was just kind of winging it. I told him about the fires and to be careful. He said the same and we parted ways. A mild drizzle had started at the end of the climb, and I now had a short descent coming up. I kept my speed low and made it without any problems. I started the second climb. The rain stopped, the clouds opened up and I had a very pleasant time reaching my highest point on the ride yet
I started the rolling descent which was mostly about dodging fast moving traffic. The descent was nice though and as I rounded a corner I got a view of Yellowstone Lake. I didn’t stop for a picture but it was huge. After a few more corners I reached the bottom of the descent and rode for a few more flatish miles to Grant Village, my campsite. I got a site and got situated. I went to the post office to mail back some unnecessary items (my old seat and a GoPro I never use) which was only $11 in total. USPS rocks. I got a bison burger at a nearby restaurant (farm raised don’t worry) and took it down to the lake to eat on the beach. After eating I laid down and fell asleep for two hours. It was wonderful. When I woke up I took a dip to clean up (showers are present but closed for covid) then went to go do laundry. That’s where I am now, and I’ll soon head back to camp for dinner and sleep. Again, no service so I can’t post this til I get on wifi. Night!
- Cliff bar
- French toast
- Chocolate milk
- Bison burger
- Pint of cookie dough ice cream