Today we woke up and moseyed down to the Signal Mountain Lodge to eat breakfast. John and Jim (Steve too, perhaps?) did some sunrise yoga by Jackson Lake before getting packed up to go.
At this point I should say who was with who and on what bike. Dan Galway, who is cousins with Jim, John and Steve McCann (who are brothers) and his wife Paula were on a rented burgandy Harley Electra Glide. Dennis and Colleen Ryder were on a rented Black Cherry Electra Glide. John McCann was on a blue and silver 2003 Electra Glide, which had a broken stereo. hat was fine with him, as he likes to ride without music. Steve McCann had a blue and silver Electra Glide as well. Jim McCann had a 2006 BMW R1200RT. Jim and Cindy Gorski rode their 2003 Honda Goldwing with trailer attached. They were generous in getting drinks for everyone and keeping them chilled in the cooler attached to the trailer. I was riding a 2003 BMW K1200LT, the most "used" bike in the bunch, with over 25,000 miles on it, but the stereo worked great and it still handled well with good power.
After breakfast, we rode up through the remainder of the Grand Teton National Park and into Yellowstone. Our first stop in Yellowstone was at the Lewis River Falls. We were awed by the depth of the canyon, and Jim G. just had to go out onto a precipice to pose.
After this stop, we headed on up to Old Faithful..
The place was packed and we were 1 hour early for the eruption. Most of the group stopped at the lodge to relax and wait, while Steve, Jim McCann and I took the boardwalk trail around the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. The trail was full of beautiful and interesting geothermal features. I highly recommend it to anyone with an hour or two to spare.
After seeing Old Faithful do its thing, we rode the western road past Norris to Canyon Village for lunch. I should mention at this point that it was hot. Very hot and so dry you could not drink enough water. Lunch was a welcome break although the lodge was not air-conditioned. They seem to use lots of "swamp coolers" in the area which moisten the air but do little to lower the temperature. (Note the fatigued faces due to the heat - Jim McCann on left, Dennis Ryder in back, Jim and Cindy Gorski on right.)
Lunch was near the "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" which we also stopped at. The eroded rocks were beautiful and steep. It looked like if you tried to climb some of the slopes of eroded rock slides you would just keep slipping backwards.
From there we agreed to boogy on to our night's destination of Cody, Wyoming. We rode the northern shore of Yellowstone Lake and started encountering our first nice corners. The road to the Eastern Entrance turned into a dirt construction road with steep cliffs for the last 10 miles of the park. Despite being hair-raising, it was beautiful and twisted down through the densest forests we had yet encountered.
Between Yellowstone and Cody, we had more beautiful sweepers and views that looked straight out of the nighttime stop in the desert scene in Thelma and Louise. Most of the group stopped at the Buffalo Bill State Park Reservoir to basically cool off. Jim McCann, John McCann and I had the same idea, but further up the road. We turned around and rejoined the group and jumped into the reservoir. The temperature was perfect!
Down the road at the end of the reservoir there was a dam, and the road went through a series of tunnels. The tunnels were an unexpected delight, with the bike's thermometer registering a drop from the high 90's to 85 degrees in the tunnels. I even took a brief movie from my camera going throug the tunnels. Click here to view
In Cody, a city bigger than we all expected for Wyoming, we went to our accomidations for the night - the Carraige House. Being that they were simple little huts, most of the folks decided to go back up the road to the Amerisuites while the Gorskis stayed there at the Carraige House. The original plan to attend the rodeo was dropped due to our level of fatigue from riding in the hot weather.