Thursday, August 20, 2015 / Layover day in Cody, WY, rode to Buffalo Bill Dam / 14 miles
Today was an optional ride day. Riders could ride to the East Entrance of Yellowstone (100+ miles, out and back, uphill to Yellowstone, downhill back), could ride to the Buffalo Bill Dam via the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway (14 miles round trip), or could hang out in Cody and sight-see.
After quite a bit of deliberation, we decided to ride out to the Buffalo Bill Dam. The route allowed us to ride on the old section of road below the dam that is no longer open to the public. Even though we really, really wanted to rest, we also hated to miss the opportunity to see the historic road. Long ago, this was the only route to the Yellowstone East Entrance.
The road below the dam is very steep (14% grade), but cool! The canyon walls are close together and the road hangs on the side of the canyon. The Buffalo Bill Dam, completed in 1910, provides electricity, along with water for irrigation, to the surrounding area. It was a remarkable engineering feat, particularly considering the methods used in 1910!
We woke to clear skies! No bears, but we spent a COLD night in the tent. We have good sleeping bags, but they were not enough. I ended up wrapping my feet in my down jacket, sleeping in all of my warm clothes including my beautiful orange neck gaiter/ear cover! The tent was coated in ice; the door-flap operated like a solid door. It would have been funny if we hadn’t been so darn cold.