On to Yellowstone

Ok, On to Yellowstone!  Like I always say it’s never an adventure if everything goes according to plan.

Thanks to a tip from our campground neighbor we knew we had to leave super early to beat the road construction near the southern entrance that starts at 8am.  We left early, and they decided to close the road extra early as well.  It was about 40 degrees and we were stuck on the side of the road in the shadows of tall trees on a mountain pass in some light rain,  we froze our butts off!

They held us there shivering for a half hour in the rain. We were so misirible and cold that when they did let us go Cece had us pull over at one of the first campgrounds we came to instead of Norris, one of the better more secluded ones with less people that several people had recommended to us as well as my guide books.  Grant Village campground is still along the mountain ridge on the southern side of the park, and unfortunately for us it stayed under a permanent cloud bank and rained every night and off and on through the days we stayed here.  A few miles north of our campground the rain ended and it stayed mostly sunny. We picked the worst place to camp!  After a few days of never ending rain back at camp we pulled up stakes and fled to a different campground.

I’m freezing! stop taking a picture!

First, though we needed gas! and fortunately they had lava hot hot chocolate and coffee.  We also found a restaurant near the gas station to get some breakfast to finish warming up, the food wasn’t all that great but it was warm which was the only thing that mattered to us.

I guess this is what you'd call a fan belt LOL. All these fans at the restaurant are driven by a pulley system off of the first one.

Camping in cold sogginess sucks. Each morning we’d stay in the tent debating whether to go out and see anything assuming it must be raining everywhere, when really it was only raining just on us apparently.  When it’d lessen up a bit we’d hop on the bike and try to see something nearby only to find bright and sunny skies a few miles from the campground both days.  Our gear, our gloves, our boots, everything would be soaked by the time we got to our first destination. They’d never dry out at night from the ride home and only get more cold and wet on the way out.

TIP: I found out that stuffing your gloves and liners in the V of the engine is a awesome way to dry them out and keep them warm and toasty for hours while you walk around.  Similarly we found out that drying your gloves by Coleman lantern is a very bad idea.  Cece’s gloves were drenched while standing next to our campfire, you’d just get more and more wet without getting any warmer.  I rested them on top of the lantern while getting into the tent and within a second I heard some crackling and smelled something burning.  ARGH!  Sorry I torched your first good fitting pair of gloves that took us two years to find  😉    ( So now we’re 1000’s of miles from home in the middle of nowhere, who knows how far from the nearest well stocked bike gear place, and needing to find extra small women’s warm motorcycle gloves. Yeah, this should be easy. )

We eventually abandoned our meager fire that had taken an hour to get to the point that it would stay lit on its own in the drizzle using quite a bit of gasoline.  When the fire would die out I’d sprinkle a bit more gas on it and relight after a half dozen times of this the wood would dry out enough to stay lit.  Still we only had limited bad fast burning wood that we had bought and couldn’t get much of a fire going.  Our neighbors, on the other hand, had a roaring bonfire  and we joined them around their fire instead. They told us that you’re not allowed to gather wood in the campground but you are allowed to collect downed and deadwood elsewhere from the forrest fires.   Our neighbors told us of a spot just down the road from the campground where there was some already chainsawed to manageable lengths and piled along the sides of the road and its free! Why pay for firewood like we did when its free elsewhere?    Had I known there was free wood so conveniently close I wouldn’t have.  Its hard to use your bike as a firewood hauler with two people but we managed to fit a box of it in the saddlebags on our way home the first night, I’m sure we would have figured something out.

We had a miserable time at Grant Village but it did have its benefits, there was a post office, gas station, and a couple of places to get food nearby.  We also checked out the Visitors Center and got our first Yellowstone stamp for our National Parks book. Its not all that big but did have the cool copper fireplace hood and owl above as well as this serious adventure van outside, I want one!

Now thats a Van!

V Star 650, firewood hauler? ( one of our previous trips )

1 comment to On to Yellowstone

  • Cece E.

    Lets just say it was still fun. I enjoyed the campground anyway. Even if it rained. Yeah, being cold is not fun for me. I have learned alot from this trip. It’s still GREAT times.

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