I was a little concerned, given my previous experience riding in the caldera of northeast Idaho, that the west entrance of Yellowstone would be miles of bland homogeneous pine forests, but I was pleasantly surprised. We wound along the Madison River, hollering at any buffalo we glimpsed, checking out a hidden waterfall, peering up at the hole-pocked, crumbly cliffs rising from the meadows. Mt Haynes stood sentinel like a rotting Half Dome; I doubt rock climbers attempt that particular objective.
Pics courtesy of Emily
|Mmmm Secco Frizzante|
After ten minutes of teasing us, Old Faithful went off, and I shed my cynicism just long enough to be dazzled by the spectacle. What a strange and wonderful world we live in.
I was amused to be one of the few in the crowd not taking a picture of the phenomenon with a GoPro, selfie-stick, DSLR, or tablet. Y'all...there are endless beautiful pictures of Old Faithful on the Internet. But I guess that's what one does in a national park now.
|Look: two seconds with Google yielded a more beautiful picture than I could ever take.|
We rode the slightly uphill thirty-three miles back with a headwind, even though I was convinced it'd be slightly downhill with a tailwind. Physics? We did less lolly-gagging and touristing because our butts were sore and our thoughts were focused on French fries.
I rode the Deutschbike and felt great admiration and affection for it. I bought that bike for $600 after road nationals when I was a senior and have spent less than $50 on maintenance in the six intervening years, despite riding it roughshod on road, gravel, and trails with little regard for its well-being. It's not comfortable or modern or appropriate for the valley, and it's not sexy like the Stag or fun-utilitarian like the Half Chub but somehow it's still a great bike for tucking in and mashing the pedals for mile after mile.
|Tram Bar Deutschbike Love|
|Nate pedaling disdainfully past bison|