Friday, 30 July 2010

Day 70 Mammoth Hot Springs to Madison - Yellowstone National Park

Wednesday 28th July
Daily mileage 37miles Average Speed 10.4mph Ride Time 3hr34min
Total Mileage 2768
We packed up and climbed a good mile or so up a steep hill to a hotel where the female elk were grazing on the front lawn and we had an all you can eat breakfast with Chris. Sufficiently full and with a pocket of pastries we hiked for a couple of hours around the lower and upper terraces which were awesome and probably my new favourite site in the park. The colours in the rocks and calcium pools were so vibrant and with boiling water trickling over them and steam rising we could of taken millions of photos and we may have actually done just that!
We continued climbing the hill in order to get out of Mammoth and just near the top we spotted some big horn sheep just on the road side looking down on us and luckily they liked posing for photos! Carrying on up we hit some road works and as there was a long queue of cars we whizzed straight past them all to the front of the line to speak with the worker. Finally we were allowed to go so we climbed on along with all the cars and as we came to the top of the hill the road works ended and we came across Swan Plateau where a park ranger was sat waving us over. We pulled in to speak with him and he told us that we are effectively a car and were being illegal by jumping the queue, and that he was not going to do anything about it on this occasion but we should be warned.

Barely biting our tongue we smiled and said thank you and continued on our way bubbling up inside. We discussed many a thing we would have liked to say to the ranger in hindsight and about 10miles on we came across him again parked on the road side so we could not help ourselves. We got everything off our chest in a very diplomatic manner of course and went on our way now being able to forget the event.

We saw Obsidian Cliff where the Indians used the rocks to create their arrow heads and stopped at Roaring Mountain that was barely humming let alone roaring and ate our pastries. We actually had one banana lurking at the bottom of our empty food bag which I took a nibble of which is my first taste of a banana since I was about 8 yrs old, it was very exciting. We finally reached Norris where we thought we would grab lunch and fill up with water but there were no groceries here or drinking water. We chatted to a lovely guy who gave us lots of bottled water thank you! I also stood in a queue for a soda machine and the guy in front of me pressed for one drink and two came out so he gave the extra to me and while I was standing in the queue I found $10 on the floor, nice!

Still hungry we walked around Norris Geyser Basin that was vast and is one of the hottest hot spots on earth and certainly one o f the most geologically active and as we followed the platform around the geothermal area we photographed many amazing colourful holes with bubbling water spurting from them. We came across the Steamboat Geyser that is meant to be 3 or 4 times as big as Old Faithful the famous geyser here, but it only erupts once every 4 days to 50 years so we would have been extremely fortunate to see that!

Back on the bikes we cycled 14 miles mainly downhill to Madison and on the way there was a 30 min delay for more road works and again the queue was huge and again we queue jumped to the start! Luckily no rangers about. At the start of the line we met Julie and Mick who were also cycling across USA on a 6month ride. We chatted until it was our turn to go where we were told to let all the cars go through first then we could follow so by the time we got through the 3 miles all the cars were long gone and you can imagine the faces of the people waiting the other side to come through when they learned we were what was holding them up! Stupid system.

In Madison we set up tent with Julie and Mick as our neighbours and they kindly gave us a cuppa tea and some raisin bread, it tasted so good! We all headed over to the river where it did not take us long to jump in for a float/shower and we laid in the sun to dry off with an offspray over head. Earlier when I had asked at reception if there was any food here she said no but come and see me in a bit. So back at the tent I went to find Sandi who gave us 2 frozen burgers, 2 buns, mayo, cheese, a tomato and a tube of Pringles! Thanks! Kris set straight to work building a fire and sawing a log with the 3 inch saw on his pen knife! The burgers finally thawed and the fire was flame on and they tasted delicious, never have we had to work so hard for our dinner! We even found 4 marshmallows in the bear box but we don’t know how long they have been there so gave them a miss. Julia and Mick joined us for more tea and raisin bread round the camp fire then we all hit the sack at 7.30pm, exhausted! It was meant to be thunderstorms today and we have had nothing but sun and blue skies.

1 comment:

  1. ok...what gives on the BaNaNa story...awesome lookin' burgers...slurp, slurp