Sunday, June 9, 2013

Yellowstone Lower Loop

Today I visited Yellowstone National Park, the lower loop. I left West Yellowstone early after a poor night of basically no sleep. I took a tour for a change to get a feel for the park before I bike around in it. Glad I did. The lower loop alone would have been about 75 miles of hard riding over large rolling hills with a few climbs up to 8400' and that alone would have hurt my old body but coupled with all the walking required to see things it would have put me in the hospital for sure. I enjoyed the tour. The guide was new but tried her best to give us whatever we wanted. I liked her spirit. The first thing we encountered after getting into the park was a bison traffic jam. There was a small herd of about 50 animals slowly moving along a narrow stretch between the river and some high cliffs. We were all going the same way but the bison just go slower is all. Eventually when the backup got too long the rangers came in with sirens blaring and lights flashing to speed up the pokey bison so the traffic could get moving. Nobody was complaining about the jam and lots of people were out taking pics of the shaggy beasts. Once we were through the jam we headed to some hot springs, old faithful geyser, the waterfalls, Yellowstone lake and all the other goodies. In between stops we saw more bison, bald eagles, elk, a black bear, lots of birds like blue heron, various ducks, pelicans, ravens, hawks, and lots more. I enjoyed the day but it hurt me because almost everything required some walking and walking absolutely kills me. I know it sounds weird that I can ride a bike all day but can't walk, but that is the way it is for me. I tried to get permission to ride my bike in the prohibited areas but never was able to get an official to step up for ADA compliance. I will pay a big price tonight for the limited walking that I had to do today. I hope I am able to ride by morning but I may have to take another day off to recover. I won't know until morning. If I can I will start the upper loop tomorrow. Until then enjoy life I know I am trying to do that but it isn't always easy.

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