Oh what an exciting day!! I got to check out Yellowstone! I’ve never been here before so this is pretty awesome! I spent the morning running errands. I got some neoprene gloves for the rain (my fingers were freezing, and my cold weather gloves weren’t very waterproof), coffee at the local bike shop, and went to the visitor center to figure out logistics. I decided I’m going to do a gigantic loop around the park, and meet up with Kyle and the CDT hikers on Thursday evening. 4 days in Yellowstone! What to do what to do? 🙂
It rained the whole afternoon. It was still a nice ride though. Everyone says cycling through Yellowstone is gnarly, because everyone is looking for wildlife and not necessarily for cyclists, and that people drive huge RVs who aren’t used to it. I personally didn’t find it too bad. I hate road riding with cars, so of course it was scary, but not any more than usual. I think the fact that it was raining kind if helped. I’m sure there were a significant less amount of drivers.
I did the southeast route thru the park today, and visited the geyser and hot springs area. It was cool to see the plumes of steam everywhere.
I stopped a lot to read information signs, and I learned there were 4 different types of hydrothermal vents. Hot pots, geysers, hot springs, and another one that has a funny name. And the way they differentiate is based upon the manner in which the hot air/water escapes. Science is so cool!! 😀 my favorite geyser is called Castle Geyser. I was lucky to see it going off my second time passing by. Here’s what it looks like in its non-erupting state:
Of course I went to see Old Faithful. The visitor center there is pretty awesome. I decided to take a farther-away viewing, because there were a lot of people lined up closer; plus it was sprinkling so I took shelter under the awning of the visitors center, where I could still see the show. Here’s a pic of the eruption. You can get an idea of the size of it, measured against the tree, and all the people standing there.
It was around 7:45pm when Old Faithul went off; I’m glad I hit it later in the day, because even though there were tons of people there, it was nothing compared to the amount of people in the earlier hours.
However, this means I didn’t get back to my campsite til 9:15pm. UGH. I’m so glad I made it before dark!! It was wet and cold riding because it started raining again. And like an idiot, I didn’t put my rain jacket on. Oops. Since I’m in a national park, I can’t just camp anywhere like I’ve been doing, I have to be at a designated campground. They have a hiker/biker site here at Madison campground which is super awesome. $8/person, a little more than Glacier, but there’s a tarped area with tables where I could lay my stuff out to dry. That’s so awesome!! Luxury!!
Another fantastic thing about campgrounds is the hand dryer in the bathrooms. Oh my gosh, those have saved me! It’s a trick I learned on the PCT. If you are lucky enough to be in an area with a bathroom with hand dryers, in foul weather, it is like striking gold, because u can dry all your stuff. Which is exactly what I did. All my stuff was dry, except me from the waist up. Lol! So I just put my shirt and windbreaker under the dryer and shortly after, I’m all dry again! Yay!
This will come in handy, as it’s supposed to rain consistently til thurs or Friday. Lucky for me, I’ll be in campgrounds the whole time. I can’t help but think about my buddies hiking the CDT right now. They are somewhere in Wyoming, south of Yellowstone. Oh man I hope they’re not getting rained on too bad. Although at this point of their hike it’s nothing new. But still, it sucks SO MUCH. Because unlike me, who gets to dry out rather frequently, they could be out there for a week til they hit town or anything resembling civilization. Ugh. I just talked to one CDT hiker who recently got off trail because of hypothermia and such. Double UGH. Anyhow, I’m sending my CDT hikertrash brethren good and warm vibes!
Tomorrow, I shall explore the section between here and Mammoth Hot Springs (haha, same name like the place in California!), and perhaps the canyon, depending on how far I choose to ride. 🙂