Thursday, 29 July 2010

Day 67 Newton Creek to Bridge Bay - Yellowstone National Park

Sunday 25th July
Daily mileage 44miles Average Speed 10.2mph Ride Time 4hr20min
Total Mileage 2668

With only 6 hours sleep we dragged ourselves out of the tent after a surprisingly great nights sleep. As we packed up ready to leave, Chad came over and offered us morning coffee which went down a treat as the temperature was very fresh at only 11 degrees centigrade! On the road at 7am we had a brief stop for another coffee at Pahaska Tepee then carried on to the East Gate having clocked up 15 miles.

As we entered the park we were told there would be a very steep climb all the way to the top of the pass but we where pleasantly surprised to see that although there was a climb it was nowhere near as steep as we were expecting. We climbed and climbed gradually and with only one quick photo stop we had made it to the top of the Sylvan Pass at 8563ft! Unfortunately there was no sign to say so but it was at avalanche peak and we assume that the sign was buried under all the lose rocks.

After the pass it was pretty much downhill to the Yellowstone Lake but it was very sad to see that all the pine trees were dead either from forest fires or the dreaded pine beetle. It was very eerie and was a shame as the scenery was a bit of anti climax as we were expecting lush green vegetation and all we got were twigs.

We followed the edge of the lake dinging my bell all the way sporadically to warn off any bears, we arrived at Fishing Bridge where we hit a traffic jam. Everybody had stopped as there were 4 huge buffalo walking up the middle of the road on the narrow bridge. We hid behind a pick up for them to wander off but they had decided to wander towards us! So we asked the family in the pick up to pick us up and drive us over the bridge. With us and bikes sitting in the back of the open truck we came nose to nose as we crept past them.

We thanked them for the short lift and then stopped for a quick drink at the lodge. We carried on into Bridge Bay carrying on around the lake and came across a few more buffalo on the side of the road but were able to cycle past these ones safe enough. We arrived at the campground and pitched our tent next to Chris’s and slept under a tree for an hour or so.

With a bit more energy we went over to the lake to cool off then I rested at the marina while Kris went for a ride back to Fishing Bridge and the Lake Village for a nose. Back at the tent we chatted with Chris who is from Transylvania in Romania and we planned our ride for tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing some highlights of the park.

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