190 miles in 7.5 hours through Yellowstone Park and out to Cody, Wyoming. The shorter, most direct route through the southern half of Yellowstone is closed and I’m forced to take the north route. The maximum speed limit is 45 mph everywhere in the park.
This is an outstanding day. In fact, each day is the highlight of the trip, surpassing everything that came before.
Yellowstone is fabulous; the animatronic buffalo are very convincing, esp as they amble across the road in front of me. You don’t think those are REAL buffalo, deer, wolves and a bear I’m seeing today, do you? They are simply far too conveniently placed in scenic places and poses to be real. And the elk placidly grazing on the lawn in the village square? Purchased from Disney Studios, I’m certain.
This area got twice their usual winter snowfall. And their “usual snowfall” is 400 inches. So there was plenty of snow pack all around, although the roads are now bare and dry with temperatures in the upper 60s.
However, some major roads in and around Yellowstone are closed due to avalanche. The warm weather makes the top layer of snow very heavy and the lower layers can’t support it. Therefore I cannot not ride to the southeast park entrance as planned, so I’m going to the northeast gate by Cooke City. There I must tank-up and wait until they open the road eastward.
In Cooke City I met a young couple from Australia. They’re traveling around Yellowstone on the cheap, staying with friends and using low-end restaurants. He admired my high-tech motorcycle; I admired his accent but I can barely understand the girl at all.
The scenic byway from Yellowstone is filled with incredible vistas, rugged snow filled mountains, deeply slashed gorges, and the Pride Rock from Lion King. I’ll post photos when I can – I filled up the camera’s entire memory card.
Tomorrow: Make up some time, ride 500 miles to Dennis & Lorna’s house in Bismarck.