Today our plan was for a for a 154 mile day which would take us from Red Lodge, Montana back across Bear Tooth Pass into Yellowstone National Park. We were heading toward the northeast entrance to the park. The eastern entrance was closed because of the burning forest on the east side. Our goal was to reach West Yellowstone in the mid afternoon so that we could finally have a real easy ride.
The ride began at our usual 8:30 or so. The temperature was 69 degrees and the day was sunny. We headed west on US 212. Interestingly enough, the pass looked a bit different traveling the route from the opposite direction. Once we reached the top the temperature dropped to 58 degrees. We have experienced a temperature range from 109 to 58 in just a few days! We continue across the pass and enter Yellowstone National Park. One thing that catches our eyes and noses is the smoke. There was a continuous haze throughout the ride. You knew there were large fires in the vicinity. We took photos and you can see the effect of the smoke.
Speaking of photos there is one in the gallery that needs an explanation. While taking photos at one of the pull-offs I noticed a lady standing beside me pointing and telling me to look behind. As I turned I saw this little girl about four or five years old standing next to me saying something. I had my helmet on and could not hear her well. I took off my helmet and she said “Mister would you like to see my pa?” I paused for a moment and thought, is this a trick question? Am I the subject of a candid camera moment? Then I saw what appeared to be her mother and father standing nearby so I felt it was OK to answer. I said yes. She turned around and went to the minivan parked next to my bike and said “Mom please give me my pa.” When she returned it was a plaster cast of a wolf’s paw. She told me the story of how she and her dad had made the cast. I asked her dad if it was OK for me to take a picture and he said sure. She was one proud little girl.
We continued on through the park and arrived in the town of West Yellowstone around 3PM. Tomorrow we will see Old Faithful and head toward Jackson, Wyoming. FYI - my odometer shows 2,584 miles traveled so far.