Yellowstone and Idaho Trip 2019 begins

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June 6th 2019
Published: June 8th 2019
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Catching up. We left Monday to drive out to Yellowstone and meet up with Dan, Matt, Carrie, Luke and Ryan. Our plan was to take our time, explore a little on the way and ride our bikes everyday somewhere new. We need to keep in shape for the week bike ride we have planned in Idaho after the kids go home. So here is what we have been up to and some pictures.

Monday: We started out today on our way to Yellowstone. Today we got to Sioux Falls - and we got here early enough to take a short bike ride on the trail by the hotel ... in a 15 mph wind. The part of the path we rode today is on a levee and as you can see for our pictures, it is simply gorgeous ... river, bridges, springtime grasses. Come on Davenport, you can make this work!

We talked to a guy at our hotel tonight who sold his house and is living at the hotel until he figures out what to do - so far it has been 4 years and he hasn’t figured anything better out .. it is a nice hotel - but I don’t know if I could do it for 4 years.

Tomorrow - weather permitting - we are planning a longer ride before we leave for Spearfish. Thinking about Casper, Wy Wednesday night before we get to Jackson on Thursday.

Tuesday: We made the loop around Sioux Falls on the bike path this morning. It was a wonderful morning, sunny and just warm enough. What a great bike path. The falls at Sioux Falls were super pretty too. They are still recovering from some flooding too - some of the parks we rode through were still not completely dried out. We managed to get 23 pretty fast miles in before we had to get back, get cleaned up, eat lunch and check out. Then we were on our way to Spearfish - via Al’s Oasis and Wall Drug for smashed pennies. As an added bonus we got ice cream cones at Wall Drug.

Wednesday: This morning we rode on the George Mickelson trail. We started out in Deadwood headed for Lead. We only had an hour and a half to ride we rode uphill for and hour, turned around and coasted back for a half hour. The scenic drive from Spearfish to Casper was nice - hardly any traffic, things to look at, and a pretty day. Planning on riding in Casper tomorrow morning before driving to Jackson Hole. We talked to Matt today - and he is looking forward to when they get here Saturday. We did have some bad news - we are missing the Jackson Juggernauts Roller Derby match on June 15 - we are planning on being in Boise that night - and the Boise roller derby team doesn’t have another match until September. Other than that we are thinking cycling, horse riding, maybe boating and then going to the Million Dollar Saloon for drinks and music. The kids get in Saturday ...

Thursday: Did you know that Casper WY only has 55,000 people living there? We didn’t either, and let me tell you - for a town that size they have a great bike trail system. We only got to ride part of it along the Platte River, and there is still so much to explore. We saw a neat iron cast status of a fly fisherman in the middle of the river ... and thought of Dan. You might have to use your imagination on the picture ... I did the best I could with my phone from the bike path. Then they have loaner life jackets along the river at places so people can always have them when they need them. There must be an issue with drowning, because in addition to these life jacket loaner stations, there are throw rings about every 500 feet or so. I must admit, the whitewater did look pretty fun.

We rode along the river, and then by a huge soccer complex, saw a young lady on skis poling along smartly, and finally along a golf course before it was time for us to go.

We saw a sign for National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, and thought we would stop by to check it out. Wow! This is a must see place if you are ever in Casper, and really is worth a special trip to see it ... if you have any interest in the migration west in the 1800s. It has exhibits related to the Oregon, California, Mormon and Pony Express Trails. And lots of hands on things too. They have a virtual reality prairie schooner crossing of the Platte River that was amazing. I was glad the schooner in front of us broke up and we made it safely across. We got to try our hand at pulling the carts the Mormons used to see if we could move the wagon fast enough to make the journey before the winter. Spoiler alert ... Dave could do it, I was too slow - though I was in flip flops, so I think I might have been able to make it. The pioneers only averaged about 12 miles a day, and it sounds like a tough, tough journey for everyone and everything. We did not get to spend as much time as we wanted because we still had a 5 hour drive to Jackson.

Beautiful day, beautiful drive. The only disappointing part was that we did not see the big horn sheep, elk, or moose along the way that the signs warned us about. We did see our first bear though .. we only saw his butt, so we aren’t sure if it was a black bear or a grizzly. We think it was a black bear because it
Mickelson TrailMickelson TrailMickelson Trail

It’s uphill for a long time
was pretty mellow...

We are staying at a hostel in Teton Village and right now are sitting in the common room with our fellow travelers who are playing pool, playing chess, talking, eating and sharing their adventures fro today and their plans for tomorrow. For us, we are planning on biking into Jackson - about 13 miles one way - and doing some touring around. Saturday we hope to take a horse ride with the Heart 6 ranch - the dude ranch we have been to before - before meeting up with Matt, Carrie, Luke, and Ryan. We hope to go to the rodeo Saturday night, and then we pick up Dan.

Friday: Another great day - we rode from Teton Village to Jackson this morning for breakfast. Total mileage for the day was 25 miles - 18 of those miles was in the rain. But breakfast was great, our rain gear worked just fine - and we saw a moose on the ride to Jackson. What could possibly be better? And now we are at happy hour at the Mangy Moose! Tomorrow we are riding horses at our favorite dude ranch!

Additional photos below
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Our first moose of the trip

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