Road Ride Report Yellowstone to Grand Tetons

Discussion in 'The Roadie Hangout' started by MTBMaven, May 17, 2010.

  1. MTBMaven

    MTBMaven This is Shangri La

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    My wife and I are traveling through Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. The trip has been amazing. For us it is an American version of our last two international trips; South African safari and Iceland tour. South African safari for all the we've seen and Iceland for the geysers and mud pits we've seen.

    The thing that sets this trip apart for me is the riding I've been able to do. Much thanks for STR member Pato for letting me borrow his rack for the trip. For without the rack I wouldn't have my bike with me.

    I managed to get out yesterday for a quick hour ride where I got in 20 miles though the Geyser Basin near Old Faithful.

    The obligatory handlebar photo in Big Sky Country
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    Me next to a hot spring. I wore extra visibility gear because I heard the roads were not friendly to bikers; turns out they were more than fine.
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    Bison everywhere!
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    Pic next to Old Faithful
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    Today I got in a nice 60ish mile ride from Old Faithful Inn where we were staying to Coulter Bay in Grand Tetons. I departed from the Inn about 5:15 AM just before sunrise.

    The temps were rather cool but I knew the ride started climbing from the beginning. I foolishly decided to leave behind a few choice clothing items as it was warm the day before - big mistake. Leaving behind my thin beanie, wind-proof over gloves, and knee warmes was foolish.

    The ride started out with a nice climb to the first of three Continental Divide crossings. The climb was cold but manageable. There were no cars and the area was nearly silent.

    Towards the top of the first pass I started to realize just how cold I was and how much I was regretting not wearing all the clothing I brought.

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    I crossed the Continental Divide two more times. By the third crossing I was near hypothermia. Full body shakes, blue fingers so numb my fingers slipped off the bifters trying to shift. I sought refuge in the direct sunlight with my fingers in my arm pits trying to regain feeling.

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    After the frozen Lewis Lake things finally started to get better as I descended in elevation. By the time I arrived at the Yellowstone / Grand Tetons border I was starting to feel less pop sickle like.

    Much of the ride had snow on both sides of the road. Spring is still trying to make its way into the area.

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    Leaving Yellowstone
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    Entering Grand Tetons
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    Less than .25 miles inside Grand Tetons I heard a noise off to my right just off the road. I look over to see a big Moose running along side me about 20 yards away. Needless to say it scared the crap out of me. Those things are huge. I darted over into the other lane and came to a stop. Shortly thereafter the Moose stopped too. We looked at each other as I contemplated the wisdom of trying to take a photo rather than preparing to high tail it the direction from whence I came.

    In the end the Moose became boarded of me and scampered off into the woods and I continued on my marry way. All in all an exciting, memorable moment.

    Amazing views of the Tetons
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    Jackson turns out is a really cool town once you get off the main kitschy main square. I hit up Fitzgerald's bike shop and Snake River Brewing next door to drink some beer and watch the ToC. The cask stout on tap was KILLER! Jackson is a great blend of small town, stunning beauty, all year outdoor playground (skiing, mountaineering road biking, and mountain biking), and perfect dose of hippy.
     
  2. MTBMaven

    MTBMaven This is Shangri La

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    Here are a few random photos of some of the other things we have seen on the trip. All pictures were taken with either a Cannon S90 point-and-shoot or Canon DSLR with 17-55mm lens, so if the animals look close it's because they were.

    Bald Eagle nest with Bald Eagle and chicks in it:
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    Elk:
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    Bison:
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    Fox:
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    Mountain Goat:
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    Black Bear:
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    Geysers:
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    Wild photographers :)
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    In addition we saw a Grizzly Bear way across a meadow through a spotting scope.
     
  3. duke777

    duke777 Active Member

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    Super cool RR Brian! That's one beautiful ride!
     
  4. Burner

    Burner WAWE

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    Way cool, I love a good adventure!
     
  5. dirtmistress

    dirtmistress AKA Roadiemistress

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    Great wild life photo's Brian! man!! I wish you would have gotten a shot of the 'mose'! I've never see one of those before!
    Yellowstone is one of my favorite parks! It's so beautiful there!
     
  6. maxwell

    maxwell Dirty Stinky PATH Love

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    Man, great RR!

    This picture actully makes me want to road ride!
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  7. gray

    gray Tree Hugger

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    Wow, awesome RR. I still haven't made it to Yellowstone, but it's in my top two or three. :) Hmmm, I guess I should also say that I'm not a roadie my any means, but there is something about that bike that's just beautiful... :-k
     
  8. JoJon

    JoJon Member

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    Very very cool!! Love Yellowstone, my wife and I were there a few years ago. Thanks for the awesome RR!!!
     
  9. MTBMaven

    MTBMaven This is Shangri La

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    ;) Thanks obviously I didn't proof before posting. I fixed that now.
     
  10. Dusty

    Dusty New Member

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    Very nice report!
     
  11. bikerider

    bikerider New Member

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    Very nice pics. I've driven through there and hiked the Tetons, but now you make me want to go back and take the bike with me. I've seen a few moose in Wyoming as well and didn't want to take the pictures because I didn't want to spook them.
     
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Member

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    Awesome Brian!
     
  13. OTHRIDER

    OTHRIDER Active Member

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    Great RR and cool photos.:clap: Your feelings of self-preservation were spot on.

    I've been real fortunate to have a lot of wilderness adventures. In coastal Alaska, the locals say they're more afraid of a mother moose than any coastal bear. Barring a surprise, the bears are mostly predictable in their behavior. The moose are just downright mean.

    The fishing guide we were with was once "treed" for two days while the moose stood her ground, just waiting for her chance to smash him.

    I'm glad your little adventure with Bullwinkle J. Moose ended well.
     
  14. MTBMaven

    MTBMaven This is Shangri La

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    I'm assuming you mean this person climbed a tree and had to hang out for two days for the moose to leave? If so that is crazy! Two days!!!
     
  15. mpmffitz

    mpmffitz Farm Freerider

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    Roadie or not great job. Thanks for showing your vacation with us. When I'm at a far away place with my two wheels I'm proud to represent STR and share my experience with all of you. That Fitzgerald bike shop is cool.
     
  16. Jslow

    Jslow stipend of maltliquor

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    Cool! Should brought the 29er though coulda given the postholin report on the climb to togwotee lodge.
     
  17. Doughboy

    Doughboy Simple Man

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    Thanks for the photos - they're great. I spent a week there a few winters back and never saw the Tetons... so that's what they look like :) It's funny... but I met the Fitzgeralds at a race and they are great people, they also went out of their way to help me look for weird snow bike stuff recently so I would recommend them to anyone in that area. Oddly enough, I met the head brewer at Snake River at the same time so your RR brought back a lot of memories!

    Thanks so much for posting!
     
  18. ghixon

    ghixon Look Ma - No hands!

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    Great photos. Thanks for sharing!

    My parents used to live in West Yellowstone. I've ridden from West to Old Faithful a 2-3 times as well as the Grand Loop an few times. If you get a chance to ride over by the Yellowstone Falls, go for it. It's absolutely beautiful. It was a must do for me.

    One of my first century rides was from Idaho Falls to West Yellowstone.
     
  19. MTBMaven

    MTBMaven This is Shangri La

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    Oh man that Zonker Stout served at casket temp from a hand pump was so perfect. I went back the next day for a few more pints. I could drink that stuff all day.
     
  20. Pain Freak

    Pain Freak Dead or Alive

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    Brian, it's called a DeSalvo. Why would anyone name there bike a Bison?

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    I couldn't agree more with Darin. I keep trying to tell my mountain brethren of the beauty we see on some of our road rides. This shot really hits home and has me contemplating those long days in the saddle....

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    I hate it when people leave their banana peels on the ground. Almost every cartoon somebody comes along and slips....

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    Some seriously great wildlife shots.
     

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