Three big boobies

Day 27 Tuesday 30th July 2013 – Bondurant, WY to Cooke City, MT

Today’s plan was to ride from Bondurant up to Cooke City at the north east entrance of Yellowstone National Park and the start of the Beartooth Highway. The ride is only 200 miles, but the speed limit through Yellowstone is only 45 mph and some of the roads get a wee bit twisty.

Doing that ride in one day wasn’t going to leave a great deal of time for sight seeing in the park, but as Doreen and I had based ourselves in the middle of the park for a night on our last trip and had spent over a day touring around it, I felt I could live with that.

I rode up through Jackson without stopping and was up into the Teton range by late morning. The popular story for the naming of Grand Teton is that it means “large teat” in French and was named by French-Canadian members of McKenzie’s expedition to the region. The Grand Teton, with its neighbouring Middle Teton and South makes 3 big boobies. See what you think.

From Wyoming, July 2013

Personally, I think they mustn’t have seen a real woman in a while to think these should be named so.

On the ride up to Yellowstone, I encountered the 1st of 4 or 5 herds of North American bison, commonly known as buffalo, that I saw on my ride. Whenever bison are near, the traffic slows to a crawl as cars slow or stop for photos. On this occasion I was one of those parking up.

From Wyoming, July 2013
From Wyoming, July 2013
From Wyoming, July 2013

Yellowstone is a huge park, and unless you stay in the park itself, either camping or staying at one of the premium rate hotels, it takes an hour or two to drive to it from one of the surrounding towns, and the same to get back. Possibly longer in high season with a lot of traffic. It would be very difficult to do the park justice in just one day, but that wasn’t my intention this day. I’ve photos from the previous trip in this album if you are interested.

On the ride through the Tetons and Yellowstone, there were so many bikes on the road. My case was that a goodly number of these were taking the opportunity to visit the park on their way to Sturgis.

As I reached the inner loop road within the park, dark clouds had gathered to the north and I am glad I stopped then to put on my rain gear, because within another mile the rain started and didn’t really abate until I was well on my way out of the park. Stopping for additional photos wasn’t an enticing prospect in the conditions.

The road from Canyon Village to the north east entrance to the park is a climb into the mountains with a good few bends and twists. What I hadn’t known when I started on this road was that there would be roadworks for the entire last third. I’ve encountered a lot of roadworks in my travels across the US, but these were the worst by far. But they seemed to have done was dig up all the road surface on a stretch of twisty mountain road leaving just a dirt road, which the rain had turned into a slippery, filthy, twisting trail of mud. It was a hair-raising ride and not something I ever wish to repeat.

To top the fun of the ride, both the Trooper and I were covered in filth by the time we turned off toward Silver Gate and Cooke City at the north east entrance of the park.

From Montana, July 2013
From Montana, July 2013

When I reached Cooke City, the afternoon was on its last legs, and every motel and cabin in town seemed to be booked. I wasn’t relishing the prospect of riding Beartooth that late and arriving at Red Lodge in the dark, but the last place in town had a room for me.

I cleaned the mud of the Trooper and me as best I could without a pressure hose, and contented myself with the view from my room.

From Montana, July 2013
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