Almost up early this morning, so we left Helena a bit later than planned for a long day. Weather forecast to reach 16 degrees and so no need to wear the rain gear, that was packed away. Around 6 degrees when we left, overcast, no worries it will clear. Headed south to Montana City where we had a long detour around some road works and by the time we got back on the road I decided that the summer gloves and shirt were not going to cut it so on with the jacket liner and switched to winter gloves. Through Boulder then on down to Cardwell. Not a lot to tell you about this, similar country to what we rode through yesterday. Just as cold too. Where was the change that was forecast? This was a country road and lots of small townships and farms/ranches along the way.
Then it was back onto the main road and through Cardwell and Summit Valley and into Harrison where we called time and unpacked the wets and put them on. If I recall, it was down to about 5 by this. So much for 16. Into Ennis for a fuel stop and a readjustment of Therese's support bandage. Lovely yellow and black toning on the wrist. Improving but still painful and does not like the cold.
Next stop was Quake Lake for a look around and morning smoko, this was about 1:00pm. Lunch never seems to happen. In 1959, in the middle of the night, this area was full of campers and other holidayers when an earthquake struck further up the river at Hebgen Lake. 19 people were killed, the lake bottom rose on one side and dropped 20 metres on the other. This caused large waves to lash back and forth across the lake drowning many and washing away cabins. Boats moored on the side that rose were left high and dry. Further down river where the Quake center now is, the earthquake caused the sides of the valley to collapse and slide down into the floor of the valley, damming the river and creating what is now known as Quake Lake.
Into West Yellowstone for a top up of fuel and therese spotted a shop with a sale, bang, starters gun gone off and she was away! No, not quite, With the cold causing a lot of pain in the wrist, I'd suggested some sort of glove to use inside her winter gloves as additional insulation. Mission accomplished and much warmer hands.
Visiting Yellowstone National Park today was both a good and bad thing. The park looked wonderful, you could almost have been fooled into thinking it was a white Christmas scene with snow on the ground, in the tree branches and in some places, still falling on the mountains. Added to this was the regular appearance of steam from the active hot vents all through the parks. These added character to the scenes but also a hint of the sinister and mysterious. The down side was that the to visit the geological attractions was a major letdown, The big Geyser basins have walkways to the sights but today they all had a liberal coating of snow and ice. Very slippery and difficult to manage, particularly stairs. Following last week's slipping exercise, there was little desire for a repeat performance.
The Old Faithful Geyser was sure to be worth it but no, we waited until it erupted and what a fizzer. Oh it blew alright, quite high actually, but hot water into cold air? Nothing but steam/fog, the actual Geyser could not be seen. By now it was late enough so it was off to Cody, named after Buffalo Bill Cody, for the night.
This was a great ride with and encounter with some elk and later two buffalo. No bears though. The ride through the eastern side of the park takes you up to a point, 7000 ft high then down into the valleys on great road, except for today's melting snow and ice. Once out of the park the road follows the North Fork Shoshone River down through a majestic and rugged valley with massive dramatic walls on either side. At least here it was a 55mph speed limit where the park has great road but the speed limits was 35 and 45 mph.
Photos below, apologies for the quality of sime of them, Taken late in the afternoon and the photographer cold and shivering, (despite the fact that I spent $6 on a pair of gloves. for her).
Long day, late arrival and night, see you tomorrow.
556 klms today, total to date 2610 klms.
Riding through Yellowstone National Park.