Friday, 30 July 2010

Day 71 Madison to Old Faithful and back again - Yellowstone National Park

Thursday 29th July
Daily mileage 38miles Average Speed 12.5mph Ride Time 3hrs
Total Mileage 2806

Julie and Mick made us oatmeal for breakfast at 7am and we grabbed free coffee from the campsite reception which woke us up and took the chill off our bones as it was extremely fresh this morning. We decided it was time to take a second backup of all our photos as the camera is getting very full, this was very stressful as the laptop and memory stick are also very full and at one point we thought we had lost the lot but its ok we got them back!

We set of about 9am in the end and climbed out of Madison up another hill but as we are camping here again tonight we left all our luggage behind and we flew up the hill it made such a difference! After about 6 miles we came across a huge traffic jam which meant it was either road works again or wildlife and we were so chuffed to find out that it was a grizzly bear! It was just over the other side of the river which was the perfect distance from us and for photos.

A bit further up the road we stopped for a half mile walk round the fountain paint pots then continued on to midway geyser basin where we took another half mile walk to grand prismatic spring which was awesome and our new favourite part of Yellowstone! The colours ranged from green, blue, white, yellow, orange and brown and they were all so vivid, wow. This is Yellowstone’s largest and most colourful hot spring and is a brilliant blue medallion more than 300 ft in diameter. It was a magical experience.
At Old Faithful we watched the geyser erupt spot on its predicted time living up to its name. The water shot up to 120ft and lasted a good few minutes and there were approx 2000 people poised with cameras to catch the event. We then had a buffet lunch in the Old Faithful Inn which was a lovely old wooden building that when you entered you felt like it should be snowing outside and a roaring fire burning inside. We ate too much then sat in the lodge with the internet for the first time all week and relaxed for a good few hours.

As time ticked on we made our way back to the campsite and as we were following the river all the way so the road was gently downhill and we were back in a jiffy! The only stop we had was to take more snaps of the same cheeky grizzly bear that was wandering aimlessly along the river edge at the same point. At the camp we headed straight to the creek for another wash, this time we went to the section where 3 rivers meet to get the warmth from the fire hole river as this river is sourced by the numerous thermal springs. The current was quite strong and you could easily float along, and of course Kris was off half way down the river and cut his knee trying to escape the current! I wish I could wash my hair, once in 7 days is not quite enough, a laundry would not go a miss either as clean underwear is running out.
We enjoyed a camp fire and some iced drinks with a breakfast bagel and pop tart for dinner. Loving life on the road. Our first views of the park was that it was over rated but as the week has gone on the highlights have come to light and we are leaving in the morning having felt like we have done a marathon every day but it was well worth the effort. I had considered seeing the park by tour bus but Kris won me over and now I am glad we have taken our time to cycle to every corner as we have absorbed the park inch by inch and seen so much more than could be squeezed into a hop on hop off day.

1 comment:

  1. what a delight traveling vicariously through y'all...thanks for the wonderful recaps and photo's