Monday, July 13, 1981

22. Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

Day 22:  Monday, July 13, 1981
Ennis-or-thereabouts to Yellowstone Park:  50 miles

I had slept well as usual, but Jack awoke complaining of the lumps in the ground.  Apparently it had been a pasture - not too smooth.

The Madison River
We followed the Madison River into Yellowstone Park.

It threatened rain, but all we got was sprinkles as we followed US 287 and the Madison River through a gap in the Madison Range and toward Yellowstone Park.  The headwinds of the previous day had abated, so it was pretty smooth traveling.

Earthquake Lake
Earthquake Lake; the slide area is in the far background.

In 1959, an earthquake in this area caused a landslide which blocked the Madison River, forming Earthquake Lake and burying 28 campers.  Some eight million tons of earth slid into the valley in under a minute.  The effects are still highly visible.

We stopped for breakfast at a lodge near Hebgen Lake.  Hebgen Dam, built in 1915, was dropped about nine feet in the earthquake, but it held.

About five miles before we reached Yellowstone Park, Guy sneaked up on us.  In yesterday's strong headwinds, he and Rick had not gone as far as they had expected, and they had camped ten miles behind us.

West Yellowstone is a typical tourist town.  We stocked up on provisions before entering the park, then biked on in to Madison Junction.  The campground was full, but we found a spot that another biker had reserved, and asked him if we could share it.  He said yes - and by evening, there were seven or eight of us in that one campsite.
Little geyser
It's a little geyser, but it looked cool.
And don't ya love that hexagonal sun?

Pond flora
Interesting flora in a pond

Yellowstone Elk
Yellowstone Elk
We had traveled only about 50 miles today.  Jack decided to take it easy, but Guy and I went out for a few hours before supper to see some of the sights:  Firehole Canyon, with its cascades (and swimmers enjoying them); the lower geyser basin, with its geysers, fumaroles, clear steaming pools, and paint pots (all incredible, even though I'd seen them before, in 1954 and 1967); another side trip for other wonders.  On the way back to camp, we saw three bull elk with huge antlers.  Of course, everyone was stopping to take pictures.  Even though "wild", they were so tame that we could approach within 25' of them!

Yellowstone River
I look contemplative, but, to tell the truth,
I had just dropped my camera lens down the bank...

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