Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Great Bike Ride – Day 6

Saturday, September 2, 2007

At our motel in West Yellowstone MT, the morning was chilly and foggy when we woke up. After a quick stop at the McDonalds for breakfast, we ran back into Yellowstone to watch Old Faithful. On the way in, we were stopped by a pair of young bull bison who were sauntering across the road just feet in front of us. We all felt pretty exposed, and were glad they seemed pretty bored with us.

After watching the eruption, we jumped on the bikes and headed for the north gate of the park. I had not been in this part of the park before. Unlike the other areas, the northwest quadrant of Yellowstone begins the transition to the browns of the arid high plains of southwestern Montana.

US89 north followed the Yellowstone River for a good distance, then climbed up to the prairie where we came to understand where the term "Big Sky" came from. It was brown ranch land all around us, to the distant mountains at the horizon. Not a telephone pole for miles. In some ways, it was like the run across Wyoming of a couple of days ago, but not nearly so hot. In fact, it was about perfect riding conditions in some of the more beautiful territory in the country. US 89 gets my vote for a top biking road in the USA.

We planned to stay in Great Falls tonight, but there was apparently not a single hotel room in this decent sized city. The folks at the Super 8 sent us 50 miles further north to Conrad, where we found rooms in a little complex that included the hotel, a truck stop and a casino. Dinner was at the Subway.

It was another late, 400 mile day. Tomorrow we plan to go only 200 miles to Kalispell, MT, but 50 of those miles is the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. At least we have already booked rooms in Kalispell.


No comments: