I am sure that you’ve wondered what happened to us! I have neglected this blog, partly trying to figure out how to write about our most recent adventure. In August, we cycled in Wyoming and Montana with Cycle Greater Yellowstone. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition organizes the tour as a fundraiser. Their mission is to protect the ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone National park to ensure its wildness for us and for future generations. They advertise the trip as “a wonderful and economical way to spend a rewarding week experiencing one of the most extraordinary landscapes on earth.” There is no question about the extraordinary landscapes, but the “rewarding”-part is what I have struggled to think about and explain.
We participated in Cycle Greater Yellowstone tour last year when it began on the western side of Yellowstone in Jackson Hole, WY. It was a hard ride, with a couple of days of really, really cold and nasty weather. The scenery was spectacular and we loved meeting the interesting people from all over the country. The ride was extremely well-organized, with great support, wonderful food, and nice overnight stops.
This year it began in Red Lodge, MT on the northeastern side of the national park. We knew that it would be a tough ride due to the elevation, but we expected better weather. Boy, were we mistaken! Weather was our biggest challenge, but more about that later!
We left home on August 10, 2015 driving toward Red Lodge with no real plan about our itinerary or how far we would travel each day. As we rode, we decided that we would drive hard to try to get to Yellowstone quickly so that we would have a couple of days to adjust to the elevation. We live at about 500 feet elevation but would be cycling between 5,000 and 10,000 feet!
Along our drive from Georgia to Montana we saw LOTS of corn fields, drove near the South Dakota Badlands, stopped briefly at Devil’s Tower National Monument, and rode through beautiful and harsh desert and canyons. The drive through Big Horn National Forest outside of Cody, WY was especially nice.