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Published: September 22nd 2014
Yellowstone Day 16. Ennis to West Yellowstone.
Cool start today with a little ice on road. Legs cold and fingers almost dropped off until I put on my fingered gloves. The breakfast was good and we got away at 7am with our lights on for the first half hour since the sun had not risen above the steep hills on our left. All the way down the valley we saw herds of Pronghorns which were also lolling at us. I saw a buzzard on a post and Bill saw am eagle fly past him. Shirley saw an otter later on in the Madison river so a good day for the unusual. After we had gone about five miles I was in front with Kathryn behind me on the hard shoulder about 2 feet behind the line. A forty year old came past us in a very big shiny 6 litre pickup truck, (for this read idiot in a blunderbuss). He came past blowing his horn and pulled in just ahead of us and wound down his near side window. I wished him good morning only to be met with a tirade of abuse. He said we should get off the
road because it was dangerous. Did he want us to ride on the dirt? I asked him whose road it was and he said it was a public highway to which I replied that in that case we had as much right to it as he had and that he had enough road to go at without trying to use the same bit as I was using. The road was 50 feet wide. He said we should be careful, to which I replied, 'And you'. The bigot then sped off defeated. This was a shame since we have been treated very courteously by most Americans so far, especially on the road.
It was a hard day today going up a slight incline and into a wind which made it feel much harder, down the valley. After 3 miles we had a straight road for 12 miles before the bend and then another 3 miles of straight road, another bend and another 3 miles - boring - and with no level or descents we had to keep pedalling for two hours nonstop, except for the odd photograph. When we reached the Madison river the scenery became more interesting with the meandering,
fast flowing river and the trees taking on their autumn colours. The second half of the day brought on some more serious climbs and we reached over 2000 m on several occasions, only to drop to lower ground again. We passed Quake Lake which was created by an earthquake in 1959, where the mountainside came rushing down killing 26 people at the campsite below. It filled up the canyon and created the lake, which has trees still protruding above the waterline. At 50 miles we thankfully found a cafe open and had a chicken burger and a rest of my weary legs and numb rear end. Joy and Jeff had a cinnamon roll, which was absolutely massive and was as a local described it - awesome. About 15 miles before West Yellowstone we met two Canadians on mountain bikes with one wheel trailers who had cycled down from Calgary and were doing the off road Great Divides Route before winter sets in. I believe that winter here rushes in quite rapidly and can be vicious. We eventually got to the One Horse Motel at 3.45 tired and weary with the constant pedalling and our heavy loads. I must pack less
stuff next time. Tomorrow into Yellowstone Park again and another hard grind to Lake Village.
Stats. 73 miles. Ave 11.5 mph. Elev. 1910. Max Elev 2049 m. Ascent 910 m. Temp minus 1 to 24 degrees.
Tot: 2.973s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 11; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0451s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb