Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day Two Hundred-nine, 090925 - W. Yellowstone, MT

Note: Fourteen All New Updates! From Days 196 - 209 - How Nice!

Day Two Hundred-nine, Date Friday, September 25, 2009
Time in Saddle: 2:37
Distance for the Day: 14.38 miles From Madison To West Yellowstone, MT
Accumulated Trip Distance: 10,528 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 6821’/6650’, Highest: 6843’ Accumulated: 247’
Speeds: Avg: 9.4 mph, Max: 22.7 mph
Weather: 22° clear, calm, warming to low-80s during the day
Expenditures: $29

I woke up at 6:58am, and got up at 7am, right near sunrise. Ooo, it was cold. I retrieved all my food items from the bear locker, repacked my trike, and was ready to roll at 8:15am. After doing a few final preps, I hit the road at 8:27am, heading west out of Yellowstone Nat’l Park, and to the town of West Yellowstone, MT. It was a pleasant, rolling road, though there was a fair amount of traffic, but nothing to be bothered much, by. Along the way, I met another avid recumbent cyclist by the name of Nancy. We chatted for a while, and I took pictures of her and her husband, and he took pictures of me and his wife standing by my trike. I also stopped several other times to take pictures of trumpeter swan on the Madison River; a helicopter carrying a water bucket, presumably to “control,” not necessarily “fight,” the fire still raging in the eastern part of the park; and the moment when I crossed back into the State of Montana, at 10:59am. There *were* three bald eagles visible from the road, that a bunch of people pulled over to take pictures of, but the helicopter scared them away just before I got there (Demitol). I reached the west gate of Yellowstone Nat’l Park at 11:34am, and immediately entered the town of West Yellowstone, MT. A medium-small town that gets buried in snow during the winter, during the summer, it’s tourist season, and they’ve even got their own IMAX theater, here – wow! Oakland, CA is only about a hundred times bigger, and they don’t have their own IMAX theater. It’s the tourists that make West Yellowstone rate.

I went into town and found the local Subway, and got a meal deal ($10). The lady at the counter and her son were also into cycling, and we chatted quite a bit about my trip, and their own experiences. I showed them my trike, gave her my blog, and took their picture. I then got a choco malted at the Dairy Queen, and then went to find the local library. They had free wi-fi, so I spent the rest of the afternoon blogging, until 5pm. After that, I went to the chamber of commerce, which also had free wi-fi, and blogged there, until they kicked me out at about 9:30pm. They normally close at 6pm, but there was a cycling event, and that kept them open until later. After that, I put on my cold weather gear, and accessed the wi-fi outside, while plugged into an outside outlet. At 10:46pm, still blogging in the dark and increasing cold of night, I ordered a replacement battery from for my Casio Exlim EX-Z850 camera ($16.28, including shipment via UPS), to be delivered to my next Warmshowers host in Boise, ID. I will also asked my trike dealer, Steve, to send my tires there, as well. Oops, I noticed a police car cruising the parking lot, here. I wondered if they were going to kick me out. Seems as though they missed seeing me. I *am* in a kind of dark corner, surrounded by somewhat bright lights. I blogged until 12:52am before my feet turned into blocks of ice, and I couldn’t stands it no more. I went tooling around the south end of town, looking for stealth camp possibilities, and found a dead end street next to a big hotel only a few blocks from the IMAX theater. It had a little more dirt than I like, but I was starting to get a wee bit hypothermic (shivering), and took it. I set up my tent, blew up my mattress, threw in my sleeping bag, took off my shoes, and hopped in fully clothed, even with my raingear on. Unfortunately, I set up on a hump in the ground, so I kept sliding off my mat to the edges of the tent, but I survived, and got a good 4 whole hours of sleep, getting *almost* completely warm.

Extra note: You know, I believe the shape of my skull is actually being changed to conform to the air holes in my helmet.

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