It must have been some perv to actually think about titties when seeing the Grand Tetons… Well, the guy was French, so maybe that says it all! 😉 I can think of many things, but I don’t associate those pointy rocks with boobies (maybe Elmar does?).
We just crossed Snake River and are cycling along Jackson Lake. The sun is shining, it’s a bit hazy, but we could have done worse with all the rainshowers we’ve had before. The GDMBR main route continues West, but a detour on the Adventure Cycling map brings us to Jackson and back. The only way to really see the whole mountain range and to visit pictoresque Jenny Lake. It’s peak season and we are definately NOT the only visitors! All the campsites are fully booked and prices of motels are sky rocketing, fortunately Walter invites us through Facebook to stay at his place even though he’s not around himself! We gladly accept the offer and enjoy two nights in Wilson, close to Jackson, before we cycle back North to pick up the trail again.
Our reunion with the GDMBR is a short one, since the route circumnavigates Yellowstone National Park and well, since we are here now, we might as well visit the geysers and hot pools!
Yellowstone National Park
The park borders Grand Teton National Park and soon we find ourselves climbing up to the plateau. The road has no shoulder and hordes of huge RV’s are rushing by and I decide to ‘just take the road’; which means I’m cycling in the middle of the road, making the cars and RV’s stop. This sounds creapy, but I actually feel safer, because this way they can’t overtake on a too narrow road. With my eyes pinned on my mirror I succeed in my strategy and judging by the honking RV’s they think otherwise. 😉
All the campsites in the park are completely full, but they always have these hiker/biker spots available for us. The first night we camp at Grant Village next to a large scouting group.., needless to say we didn’t get much sleep! But in the morning we return the favour as we leave at dawn. First stop are the geysers and pools at West Thumb, were we walk around with a gazillion Japanese people!
Even though we are not on the GDMBR at the moment we do get four bonus crossings of the Continental Divide! After we crest another top it’s downhill to the Upper Geyser Basin and the famous Old Faithful. We are not so lucky with the weather; a grey and boring sky and you can hardly see the fountains. Rumour has it that Old Faithful will erupt in about 40 minutes, so we find ourselves a top spot in the front row and wait… first we thought we were a bit too early, but fifteen minutes later about 10 rows of people have gathered behind us! Wow! Since we entered America, we’ve never seen this many people all at once! It’s crazy!
A few bikers (there seems to be some kind of Sturges Harley thingie going on…) are very interested in our adventures and once I mention we also have a belt ‘just like a Harley’, we are treated like celebrities; them taking pictures of us and posing with us! Haha! It sure beats waiting and time flies, but Old Faithful keeps us waiting… five minutes have passed… nothing! Ten minutes have passed… a few fake eruptions… and then finally! Fifteen minutes late (sound like the Dutch trains…) Old Faithful erupts, about 180 feet high in the sky. Ohs and ahs all around us and the crowd disappears…
But there is far more to see between the Upper Basin and Madison, our next camp site for tonight. We ride on an actual bicycle path along many geysers and colorful hot pools, such as the amazing Morning Glory Pool.
From the Upper Basin we cycle towards Biscuit Basin, Midway Basin, Grand Prismatic Spring and Lower Basin. Apart from the many geysers, we really love the beautifully colored pools. Some are turquois blue or greenish surrounded by red and yellow bacteria. It takes us all day to visit all these sights and tired but satisfied we set up camp at Madison Campground; this time no scouting club!
And we’re back on the GDMBR! Cycling from Montana, to Idaho, to Montana in just one day; leaving the geysers behind us and back on the dirt tracks, without honking RV’s!