NOLA to Canadian Rockies 2018-Day 5

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ June 20, 2018/ BMW R1200RT, New Orleans to Canadian Rockies 2018, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Yellowstone National Park

Time: 06:30

Weather Conditions: Cold, but dryish

Daily High Temperature: 71F (upon arrival in Cody)

Destination: Cody, WY

Daily Miles Logged: 227

Arrival Time: 18:03

States Visited: Wyoming

Daily Highlights:

    • Hayden Valley
    • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
    • Tower Falls
    • Mammoth Hot Springs
    • Back through Hayden Valley

Long day, but only 226 miles of riding.  Lots of time off the bikes taking in the beauty of Yellowstone.

We decided that, weather permitting, we should get an early start to the day in order to beat potential park traffic and to get a jump on the weather that might be developing later in the morning.  A normal start time for us is 07:00-08:00, today, we were kickstands up at 06:30.  

I was delighted to open the door this morning and see a somewhat clearing sky and crisp and cool air to begin the day.  We were loaded up on time and were heading towards the main park entrance on schedule.  As we arrived at the park gate, we were surprised to find no one in attendance at the guard hut.  We rolled on in the park and began our days itinerary.

Our first stop was the grand prismatic springs that we missed yesterday due to the weather.  As described in our ride plan: 

    • The Midway Geyser Basin’s Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States, approximately 370 feet in size and around 121 feet deep. But its rainbow waters are what really make it fascinating: While the center of the pool’s cerulean hue is pretty characteristic, the deep reds, bright yellows and fiery oranges encircling the edges are not. These colors are caused by pigmented thermophilic bacteria that thrive on the rich minerals produced by the geothermic activity. The color of the bacteria is determined by the temperature of the water – the center is too hot to support life – which is then reflected when light hits the organisms.
    • This natural wonder is one of the park’s most photographed sights, so expect crowds when you visit. You may find fewer visitors if you arrive early, but fog is common until late in the morning on cooler days, so travelers recommend arriving around 10 a.m. [In fact, we’ll be there just after lunch, so we shouldn’t have to worry about fog.] No matter when you go, visitors say the attraction’s Fairy Falls overlook will provide you with the best views.

Due to the cold temperatures, there was copious amounts of steam emanating from the springs that often had a smell of sulphur.  Doing our best to stay on schedule, we press on towards ur next stop, Mammoth Hot Springs.

“>
enkinchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/img_6624-1.jpg” alt=”” width=”4032″ height=”3024″ /> Me taking a photo of Jon doing what he loves to do… take photos. Hahaha[/caption]

This part of our adventure was probably the most unexpected, unplanned, and will likely become one of the highlights of our entire trip.  The roads in the park are in mostly excellent condition and are a joy to ride as with each turn, you are met with another stunning display of our creators imagination and handiwork.  We approached a small group of cars pulled off on the side of the road looking at what we thought were a few bison.  As it turned out, it was a herd of perhaps 100 that began to overtake the road and move as a group towards their next grazing field of choice.  

m/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/img_6655-1.jpg” alt=”” width=”4032″ height=”3024″ /> Is one camera not enough, Jon? Of course it isn’t![/caption]

We were stuck behind the herd for nearly an hour, gingerly trying encourage them to keep moving, however, the cast of characters ranged from a young bison nursing in the middle of the street, to a poor injured animal that struggled to keep up with the herd.  At various points, we would try to advance and then the cars on the opposite side of the road would slip by one at a time and then we were back at a standstill.  

Randall was the first one to make his way through as a very brief opening appeared.  The rest of us moved with the herd for another 15 minutes or so until they cleared of the roadway.  

Once we were cleared the herd of bison, we saw a very unwelcome sign to a motorcycle rider… Rough Road Ahead… Motorcycles Use Extreme Caution!  Ugg… turns out that a nearly 5 mile stretch of roadway had been removed entirely to the road bed as it was being replaced one lane at a time.  With the rain the day before, we had many times of clinched haunches and white knuckles as we navigated this treacherous stretch of none existent roadway in order to get to our next stop.

Lunch was nothing special to write home about, so I will keep it brief.  Park operated cafe, same menu as yesterday, pitiful service.  When Jon had not yet received his order, he asked the manager why others that had placed theirs long after him had already received their order.  Her reply was “well, do you want a refund or do you want to wait?”  Maybe it was a bad day, maybe it is par for that course.  I would simply keep my expectation very very low.  

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After a quick walk up to the Mammoth Hot Spring, we hit the road again headed to the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.

The ride back to Cody was through the Shoshone National Park and it was a beautiful bonus end to our fantastic day!

Dinner was at a local steakhouse (of course, we’re in Wyoming)… I elected to pass on the salmon and got a sirloin steak which was tasty, but I really wish someone here would learn to cook a beautiful piece of fish!  

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I got to FaceTime with my babies! I miss them and it was a treat to see them before they turned in for the evening.

Tomorrow, we press on towards Missoula and we ride the Beartooth Pass.  We received word the evening that it is now reopened after having been closed over the weekend due to heavy snow.  SAY WHAT?!?!?!  In June?  -Steve 

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