Monday, September 01, 2008

Ride Report - Grand Tetons - Day Two

After an uncomfortable night's sleep in the tent ( I really have to get an air mattress next time I am foolish enough to do this) I woke around 032o hrs with a sinus headache and unable to sleep. I went ahead and put the rain screen on top of the tent just in case, to give me something to do, before I went back to sleep.

Turns out, that was a pretty smart thing to do, as I woke up at around 0700 with the sound of rain hitting the tent! Yep, had us a morning rain storm. I waited till it stopped, got dressed, fixed the GS mirror on Maria and reviewed the damage in the light of day. Not bad at all, bad scratches on the mirror housing and some minor ones on the valve cover but that's it.

Got the camp broken down and the motorcycle packed up. One of the guys who'd helped me last night in picking up Maria turned out to be a fellow tent camper from Germany. He is touring the US along with his wife and baby during the six weeks of vacation that he gets! The motorcycle provided a bond between us and it turns out he rides a R90 Beemer back in the fatherland. We had a nice conversation while I cleaned up my stuff from the rain.

I finally headed out around 0845 or so and took the following shots of the Grand Tetons Mountain Range. Beautifully sharp peaks, upon which low-flying clouds were impaling themselves like ships on a reef and having their bottoms ripped out by the top of the peaks.

The entrance fee into Grand Teton Park includes entry into Yellowstone National Park as well. I rode the John D. Rockefeller Highway towards Yellowstone. Nice road but it was crowded with cagers who were doing more gawking than driving. Not sure what they were gawking at, it was mostly a two lane road bordering some pretty large lakes on the south side of the park.

One of the many lakes one sees in Yellowstone Park

I finally got to Yellowstone and the traffic conditions just got worse and worse. I was running out of time by this point as it was getting close to noon. I got fed up with cagers just stopping in the middle of the road to gawk at deer or what not, and headed out the west exit of the park. Didn't get to see the major sights, and this is as close as I got to Old Faithful:

The cagers were lined up for at least two miles trying to get into the park as I was leaving it. No way I was going to go back that way to get back down south.

I exited the park at the town of West Yellowstone, quaint little tourist town which I soon left behind after taking this picture and pointing Maria south.

Montana appears to be pretty country, at least the little bit I saw of it before I suddenly came upon the border sign for Idaho:

Idaho was pretty as well so long as I was near the mountains, once you leave their vicinity though, it's just farmland. Now came so long distance riding, with the initial goal of reaching Montpelier which would put me in striking position of I-80 I believed for tomorrow's cruise home.

Weather and mother nature decided my course instead. I saw rain clouds approaching from the South and soon after Idaho Falls got hit by some pretty heavy rains. It was kind of weird the way the rain came on was a solid front of dust/rain which blew through with some really strong winds, then it would rain.

After several abortive attempts to wait out the rain, I decided the heck with it and rode in it all the way to Trementon, Utah. The rain was pretty steady, heavy enough to force me to slow way down while the cages continued to whiz on past me as I cruised in the right lane.

My rain gear did pretty good but it was still miserable. Finally gave up the attempt to reach Ogden, much less Salt Lake City and found a Western Inn Hotel to hole up in out of the rain. I felt much better once I was dried out and the gear was unpacked and drying. Checked in one more time with my loving wife who'd been feeding me weather reports and map information all day and now, am calling it a night.

My loving wife captured this picture of the storm I rode through this afternoon, I was between Idaho Falls and the Utah Border.

The drive for Denver and home is tomorrow, I hope to get an early start. I hope the rain is over by then but the forecast does not look good. More rain. Joy.

1 comment:

Mr. 0 said...

Instead of an air mattress, you could always try one of those tent hammocks. It might pack up smaller than a separate tent and air mattress on the bike.

I've been considering trying one out since my back just doesn't like the hard ground when I camp.

I've heard a lot of good things about Hennessy Hammocks and Clark Jungle Hammocks. Only problem is that they would be more expensive than just buying an air mattress.