We biked through the valley this morning at about 7:00, and saw so many more bison. We even had to pull over to wait for one to cross a bridge! It’s so incredibly intimidating (but cool at the same time) to make eye contact with a bison. Yes, that happened. A few times.
We had a long climb to get up out of the valley, after which we found a waterfall and a busy general store that sadly didn’t carry the fuel we need for our stove.
We had a short but speedy descent, then spent the next few hours pedaling upwards. We were proud parade leaders from time to time, once accumulating a 10-car-parade, eventually finding ourselves going over Dunraven Pass, at the elevation of 8,859 ft!
Just when we were needing a lunch/nap break, we came to an intersection with signs for geysers and a museum, so we pedaled up a little side road. We were met with an overwhelming number of tourists (there must have been at least 20 states represented on the license plates in that parking lot) and a gravel path with a “no bikes” sign. But we didn’t let those unfortunate events bring us down. There was a lovely open forest of tall trees surrounding the area, so we dragged our bikes over stumps and fallen trees, pulled out our sleeping pads and pillows, and took naps for the next hour. As far as we know, nobody even noticed. We were awoken by bugs carelessly traveling over our legs and the heat from the sun as the shade moved. So we left the parking area of the alleged geyser feeling rested, and only having smelled the sulfuric odors of the landmark on the breeze. Overall a great experience, that geyser. We highly recommend it.
We did pedal by a hot spring, called Beryl Spring! There was even a helpful sign warning us about the boiling water bubbling out of the ground.
We biked the rest of the way through Yellowstone, leaving through the west gate. I realized today how different it would be to drive through the park – I think it really takes getting out into the fresh air to really experience a place. And although we didn’t see Old Faithful, we got to feel the wind, sun, and rain on our faces as we biked through this National Park, which makes for some unforgettable times.
We’re spending the night camping in a park in the town of West Yellowstone, and we met yet another amazing couple of people tonight. They were walking their dog, and after we talked to them for a few minutes, they invited us to go get ice cream with them and offered to let us spend the night on pull-out beds in their camper! I took them up on the ice cream offer (so delicious!) but we decided to stay put with the tent, since we were already partially set up here. Thank you both so much for the great conversations and the ice cream!