Miles Today: 111
Miles to Date: 5,295
States to Date: 21
I saw more of Yellowstone than I anticipated, which turned out to be good thing. I planned to leave my campsite at Grant Village and take the west side of the Grand Loop, to see Old Faithful and then head north on US 89 past most of the geysers to Gardiner, MT. However, a ranger told me there was 17 miles of construction, i.e. gravel, north of Norris. So I revised my 76-mile route into 110 miles by taking in Old Faithful and then looping back to Yellowstone Canyon, up and over Mount Washburn, past Tower Falls and back through the northern tier of the park to get to Gardiner. I began at break of day and spent thirteen hours pedaling, stopping at vistas, and talking to folks.
The requisite picture of Old Faithful
The steam glistens off the smooth earth in the morning light.
Nearly twenty years after the 1988 fires, new longpole pines are growing through the fire debris.
Gibbon Meadow is a beautiful stretch of mountain scenery.
Gibbon falls are spectacular. I met Michael Joseph Oswald, author of Your Guide to the National Parks. His camera would probably not even fit in my panniers: his books must have terrific photos.
I was in the Canyon area at lunchtime, the only time I experienced the impact of over three million summer visitors to the park. The canyon is incredible, the chaos of people, traffic, and animal gawking a lot less inspiring.
Everything calmed down as I climbed up Mount Washburn.
This outcropping that towers over the road blew me away.
The northern portion of the park is the least spectacular, yet I found it very satisfying in the early evening light, and Undine Falls was a treat to close my Yellowstone day.