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Riding => Rides and Stories => Topic started by: B.D.F. on July 03, 2011, 04:48:49 pm

Title: Yellowstone Nat'l Park- not what I expected
Post by: B.D.F. on July 03, 2011, 04:48:49 pm
On my way back east from a recent Coast- to Coast ride in less than 50 hours (yeah, I am not tired of saying that yet) I took a couple of short diversions for sight seeing. One of my stops was Grand Coulee Dam, and it was everything I had expected- how could I not be impressed with something that used Hoover Dam as a scale- model to practice on? I also wanted to travel through as high a mountain pass as was reasonably possible on the way home and got to do so in Beartooth Pass between Wyoming and Montana on Rt.212. Beartooth Pass was only opened a few weeks before I was there and it was a fantastic trip, especially on the back of a motorcycle.

I usually prefer man- made things to natural things; given the choice I would rather see the Great Pyramids than the Grand Canyon. On the way to Beartooth Pass from the west, I would be passing through Yellowstone National Park entirely by accident: it was literally in the way and not possible to avoid. To be honest, I could not have cared less about passing through a National Park. I traveled off I-90 south, in Montana, on Rt. 89 and as I approached Yellowstone, I saw signs indicating that there was a $25 fee for entering the park. Oh well, the National Parks service does a lot of good things for us so I really didn’t mind paying but I really didn’t think Yellowstone was going to be one of their better attractions.

Everything changed as soon as I passed through the gate and entered Yellowstone National Park. It was truly the jewel in the entire trip home and a huge surprise to me that I even liked it, never mind loved it. First of all, it was ‘free day for anyone riding a C-14 from east of the Mississippi’ day. Well I guess it was actually free for everyone that day but I know it was free for me. Even the park ranger at the booth was great- a nice guy who was very pleasant to chat with and extremely knowledgeable about the park. Now I was only in the park for a couple of hours and only on the northern edge, along a couple of entrance roads, but it was still remarkable.

In the park the animals rule and they are everywhere, including moseying across the roads. I stopped in traffic so close to a bison grazing on the side of the road that I could have reached out to pet his furry noggin. I thought about doing that very thing but then though he might not thing we were as close in our friendship as I thought. There was a large black bear with her cub foraging on the other side of the road. The Rockies are beautiful mountains and Yellowstone seems to have a particularly nice section of the Rockies within its borders.

It was also great to see so many people simply enjoying the park itself. Not doing anything really out of the ordinary, just happily soaking up a little bit of natural resources that were specifically set aside for that purpose. There are a lot of really long lenses around too, hanging off of still and video cameras, all waiting for a glimpse of animals that won’t get nearly as close to the roads as the bison and bears; shy animals like wolves are there and can be seen but it takes a little more effort. I also think I saw my very first mule deer; a small female grazing pretty close to the road.

The scenery is also spectacular; it is a great piece of real estate and is pretty much left alone and in its natural state.

So from a guy who generally prefers man- made things, two big thumbs up for Yellowstone Park. If you get the chance in this lifetime, by all means at least take a ride through the park. It is outstanding. And easily worth the $25, maybe even $35.  ;)

Title: Re: Yellowstone Nat'l Park- not what I expected
Post by: Stavee on July 03, 2011, 05:55:42 pm
Yes there is a natural beauty to the rockies  and one of the best parts is they have those man made twisties for enhancement.
Title: Re: Yellowstone Nat'l Park- not what I expected
Post by: valkmc on July 03, 2011, 07:10:26 pm
Just rode thru it on my way to Alaska, I also enjoyed it but had to pay the $20 motorcycle fee.
Title: Re: Yellowstone Nat'l Park- not what I expected
Post by: DarkKnight on July 04, 2011, 07:15:35 am
BDF... Great report, I was first thinking "How could anyone not be inspired by Yellowstone, Maybe they changed it like they did at the Grand Canyon. Maybe they now have a McDonalds or Walmart.  I went through Yellowstone on a bike ride from the east coast when I was 23. It was everything you said and more. I rode through Bear Tooth pass and it still is one of the best areas of this country. I always planned on going back to spend more time at the Grand Tetons.
Title: Re: Yellowstone Nat'l Park- not what I expected
Post by: justbob on July 04, 2011, 08:44:32 am
Yellowstone is one of the true gems of the national park system. It has the most active gysers in the world, amazing to think what is going on right under the surface. The whole story around the reintroduction of wolves is pretty cool. The only place I have seen more wildlife was in Alaska.
I was out there in 1988, the year of the BIG fire, have been there several other times over the years and may go there again next month on a western trip.
Title: Re: Yellowstone Nat'l Park- not what I expected
Post by: C1xRider on July 04, 2011, 09:09:12 am
Having been through the park more times than I can remember, one tends to forget just how much is there to be seen.

Thanks for the reminder, now I'll have to tour it on  my C14 - just because.  :)