Day 2032 Sunday 8th May
Woke to minus two with a rising sun trying to warm the camp, the mist off the river, not kidding me it was gonna be warm. By nine thirty we were packed and rolling, quick for us, lol. We paid our fifty bucks and gained entry into no showered, hot water heaven, and paid thirty bucks for the privilege for camping in Madison campground Yellowstone.
By mid day we were riding to see Ol’ Faithful throwing his stuff into the wild. On the way in we saw a grizzly bear having brekkie, not taking any notice of us tourists watching him. However although he was the size and weight of my ‘bike he took no notice of the vehicles and trucks waiting on the road. Until I started my bike and he turned his head, same as elephants in Botswana. There was a solitary officer on the road keeping seventy to ninety tourists from being eaten for lunch by this bear.
The flat land was littered with geysers of bubbling mud and pools of red, orange and bight yellow mud, coloured by the minerals in the dirt from the earth.
Old Faithful was late in showing the go, however did give a good show when it happened. The force or the water erupting from the earth was an awesome spectacular. The smaller thermals were venting a few minutes before the big blow. While waiting for the big blow a very tattooed couple sat close by and after a while he asked if we were riding the odd looking bikes in the lot. By odd he said that they looked well traveled and adding that they were not Harleys but son foreign make. Diane said yes and as I was sweating slightly in my pants and carrying my jacket, it was a little obvious to me that I was riding a motor cycle. However we have see people dressed like this that have possibly never sat on a bike, although there clothes looked a lot fresher than mine. The guy replied that I might like to go and check on my tank bag as three crows were getting it open and throwing my stuff on the ground. I hot footed it over there and found the chess pieces, ear plugs, flash light batteries and other stuff spread around, some of it up to ten meters away. I lost the roll of backgammon buttons that I had carried since Cape Town, never having opened them and some of the chess pieces had been crushed by passing feet and vehicles. Even Antonio my El Serpentineo had been violated. He had peck marks and had partially pulled from his nest on my top box, thankfully the bike raping crows had not taken him from me.
Day 2033 Monday 9th May
Riding to Norris and Mammoth and out to the petrified tree seemed like a chore, however it was interesting to see a piece of history, now standing behind an iron fence. It had been jailed because another on that had stood close by had been chipped at by souvenir hunters, and now, a hundred years or so ago it was gone. They had stood living and dead for millennia and now it was gone. So this one is now behind bars to save its stoney hide.
Day 2034 Tuesday 10th May
Waking to fifty mil of snow on the tent we slowly packed and got ready to roll by the usual ten am. Stopping at the eastern gate of Yellowstone to fill up on gas, we drank bad coffee and ate a little chocolate to make us feel better.
Riding east the weather got worse, colder, snow and sleet blew from the North. It stuck to my visor and riding gear, even through the leather it felt cold and damp.
Passing passed Largo Buffalo Bill and State Park the weather looked wet and cold in front of us, and as advised by the local folks that stopped by at the mailing office we had stopped at to warm up. Riding on we passed by the dam and into cold wet snow. The slushy snow that makes you cold and wet, bonus!!??
Arriving in Greybull amid a strong northerly cold wind after riding from Cody amongst a sleet storm. Stayed the night in a small motel and stayed the next one, to chill out and relax.
Day 2035 Wednesday 11th May
Took a day off, washed the bikes, after fuelling my bike and left my hat and gloves on the bike as usual, when I got back from paying I found my winter gloves had been stolen! Later updated the blog and drank out with good small town feed.
Day 2036 Thursday 12th May
Day dawned bright sunny and cool. but promising heat later
climbing through the canyon, passing ragged rocks and steep sided walls
out of the assent we found ourselves on top of a huge, flat, snow covered plain. The temperature had dropped to plus five celsius. Hands cold with my summer Guatemalan gloves on.
Dropping down from the snow line we stopped at an outlook, to gaze out across sunny flat farm land of Wyoming, looked like perfect riding. Passing through green grassed farm land, charming villages with inviting cafes that we did not stop at…
Along the roadside I saw long poles, longer than telegraph poles, stood vertical and secured with four steel cable to keep them firm. On top a pallet had been fixed. The half dozen I saw all had a huge nest built on the pallet, although this time I could not see the residents.
We ended up at Sundance and arrived in a guys property that on the website was a camp. After explaining this he said we could camp up, and he had water. Riding back into town to get some food I foolishly had my coat open, gloves off and no helmet. The weather was warm and sunny, perfect riding. Smelling the cut grass of the roadside homes and pollen in the air, it truly felt like spring was here. Back at camp we cooked and slept early, with the birds singing in the hedgerows. Perfect, could it get any more idilic?