City: Wilson, Montana
Miles ridden: 190
Cumulative miles: 10697
When I removed the cover from the bike in the morning a bison was happily strolling behind the building. I got the camera out and took a couple of pictures.
We started a bit earlier today, since we had to cover around 200 miles of mostly national park, so the speed limit would be around 35mph. It was freezing cold but we had our Gerbins heated jackets. Long live Gerbins! They were /wonderfully/ warm. After we entered the Yellowstone National Park we saw large Bison herds gazing close to the road. At one stage there was a Bison on a narrow road, so we stopped and let the it pass.
When the Bison was at Wombat and Vals level, they took off and the Bison looked a bit stressed… which was quite unnerving. I captured it all on the bike camera, but the 172 degree lens doesn’t help to show the size and how close the Bison was. Here is the first attempted to add a movie clip to the blog, if this works there will be more! (You’ll have to comment and tell me 😉 )
We continued to ride through Yellowstone and stopped at the West Thumb Geyser Basin. It’s the smallest geyser basins in Yellowstone but its location along the shore of Yellow-stone Lake is quiet scenic. We had lunch and walked around the geysers and took a couple of pictures 🙂
Not long after the break we left the Yellowstone National Park to enter the Grand Tetons National Park. At this time there were multiple wild fires burning in Colorado and Idaho and the smoke clouded the view so most of the mountains were hardly visible in the background.
At around 17:00 we arrived at our accommodation, the ‘Sassy Moose Inn’.
City: Wilson, Wyoming
Miles ridden: 70
Cumulative miles: 10767
We had a lovely breakfast, cooked by our host ‘Natasha’ (on the right).
After such a nice breakfast, we decided to stay a day longer. We updated our blogs most of the day. Around 16:00 we rode to the Granite Hot Springs. Val hadn’t finishes her blog and opted to stay. This trip was suggested to us by our host. Most of the way was paved but the last 10 miles were dirt road, so Sigrid chose to come two up on my bike. The road was not too bad but exciting enough for me with two up. The pool was sitting in the middle of nowhere, a single wooden house with the pool surrounded by mountains.
I really enjoyed it but was a bit nervous about the way back. The sun was setting and I didn’t like to ride on a dirt road in the dark, particular when we have to watch out for wildlife as well. So we got out, rugged up, had a short look at the waterfall nearby and then went back to the Sassy Moose.
We arrived without any problems. I was happy that I managed 20 miles of dirt road without dropping the bike, but I’m sure we will have plenty of that in Middle and South America. In the evening we talked to another couple from the US and decided to have a Mad Had evening. Maybe I should let my hair grow a bit longer 😛
City: Fort Bridger, Wyoming
Miles ridden: 211
Cumulative miles: 10978
We organized accommodation in Fort Bridger, which was a distance of around 200 miles. We decided to go a slightly longer way, so we could go through Idaho. After we packed up and were ready to go, Wombat discovered that he had a flat tyre (doesn’t look as flat on the picture).
Wombat got his plug tools out and fixed the tyre.
Just to be safe, we decided to get a tube fitted. So after some phone calls, we found a bike shop that had a matching tube and would fit it as well. So off we went – only a couple of miles down the road to the workshop – where Jamie (the owner) had a look and started to work on it immediately.
After that we were off. We had a great ride through a mountain area where the trees where red, yellow and green, a magnificent view. Then we entered Idaho.
Ten miles later, we left Idaho again.
And were going back to Wyoming. Around 17:00 we arrived in Fort Bridger. There were two options for accommodation, the cheap one (left) and the not so cheap one (right). We opted for the ‘expensive’ option 😛
City: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Miles ridden: 274
Cumulative miles: 11252
Packed up early, since we had a long day in front of us. First we had to fill up the bikes up, so we went to the petrol station. I must have still been asleep when I scratched a concert stump with my pannier, so I put the bike down gently… !@#$%, picked it up and was ready to go again. I found my excuse though, the stump had an uninstructive colour the same as the petrol pump. Easy to miss! You can see it in the picture below.
First we crossed the border to Utah, and the landscape changed from plains to mountains again.
After a while we entered the ‘Flaming Gorge National Park’, a mountain range near a huge lake. The roads became windier with some switchbacks, it was really wonderful. However the smoke of the wildfires in Wyoming and Idaho still obscured the view.
The mountain range started to flatten out gain and we entered Colorado.
The landscape became a bit more dessert like and we were riding through large plains. We read in the Tripadvisor that our next stop, the hotel in Steamboat Springs was not easy to find and they were right. After asking around we finally found it. After some maintenance on the bikes (in my case, making the small adjustments required after putting the bike on the side this morning), Sigrid and I went to the hot tub. It’s a hard life 😉
City: Estes Park, Colorado
Miles ridden: 138
Cumulative miles: 11390t
Wombat and Val were in a bit of a hurry this morning, so they left before us. We finished packing and started a bit later. I really liked the landscape with the different colours (the camera doesn’t do the colours justice).
With autumn comes low temperatures, so in the next township we stopped to have a coffee and get our Gerbins jackets out. We stopped at a nice little cafe and stayed much longer than planned. Sitting in the sun on a Hollywood swing with a nice cup of coffee, why should I leave? 😀
There were two nice sayings in the shop, I guess it is hard to read them, so they say
What wold you attempt to do if you know you couldn’t fail?
and on the right it says
Until you make peace with who you are you’ll never be content with what you have.
Anyway, we continued our trip casually, since we had only 90 miles left to our destination. We were riding along a large lake passing a car park, when we saw a luminescent yellow motorcycle jacket on the car park. As we rode past we saw that it was Val and Wombat. Wombats bike was unpacked and the back wheel was removed. Wombat had collected a nail when they left a viewing point. The tyre lost the air quite suddenly, but Wombat kept the bike under control. That was the second flat tyre in two days, if this becomes a habit we have to plan more time for our trips ;-). So Wombat got the nail out the tyre, glued the tube, put the tube in, set the bead and fitted the tyre to the bike.
After the tyre was pumped up we were riding to the Rocky Mountain National Park. We just rode through the park, over a 12000 feet mountain pass. Firstly the road started off as pine forest, but above the tree line, the landscape changed to mostly rocks.
At one view point we saw some Marmots running around, they are really cute.
The view was stunning, on the picture left below you can see the street with cars at the distance.
At one view point, Val and Sigrid performed the synchronized Gerbins dance 😛
Just before we reached the hotel, we found a deer grazing on the side of the road.
We arrived at the hotel, had some tea and had an early night.
City: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Miles ridden: 168
Cumulative miles: 11558
The plan today was just to get to Colorado Springs, it was an easy day with only 168 miles. It was a pleasant ride through curvy mountain roads. We arrived without any flat tyres 😀
City: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Miles ridden: 29
Cumulative miles: 11587
We decided to stay longer here and do some preparation and get some stuff sent to us. Val organized tickets for the cog railway to get to the top of Pikes Peak, a mountain with approximately 14000 feet (4.3km) highs. The train was quite comfortable but you had to hang on your seats since the rails had an incline up to 25%. Unfortunately the weather started to come in. We did know it, but the weather forecast for the next three days was even worse, so we took our chance.
It was freezing and very windy when we left the train at the top. I was happy to have our Gerbins under the motorcycle jacket.
There was a road leading up to the top and we saw a couple of cars and even one motorcyle, I think he underestimated the temperature. Sigird couldn’t resist throwing a snowball at me. I tried to convince her to throw it at Wombat, but with no success 😉
We arrived home safe and planned to get new tyres for Sigrid’s bike tomorrow and do some shopping.
City: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Miles ridden: 10
Cumulative miles: 11597
I called the workshop in the morning to ensure that the tyre was there and that it could be fitted. So we left around lunch time, dropped the bike off and had a stroll through Colorado Springs. We found this sign, I think Ryan will agree and we found half a Porsche sitting on a wall (he might have been divorced).
Anyway we had some lunch and during this time the weather changed. It was cold and raining. So we picked Sigrid’s bike up, briefly went shopping, Sigrid got a haircut and then we went home. At this time we were a bit wet and cold, since we forgot our wet weather gear at the hotel. We could see the mountains from our room and it had clearly snowed.
The hot tub was calling. Tomorrow we stay in our hotel and do some planning.