Being excited about seeing two great parks I started out early, leaving at 8:00.
From Jackson Hole you must ride through Grand Teton National Park. I had taken most of the east road on Friday so I decided to take the west road. The road leaves the ranger station and changes into a gravel road filled with potholes. This only lasts a mile or so.
This park is all about the view of the mountains and the lake which is in the center of the park. The views are just breathtaking as you can see in the pictures below.
You never have to look for wildlife as the photographers are there early and all you have to do is look for them. If you see a group of about 20 you know there is something to see. At one spot there was 50 people taking a picture of one owl, granted it was the biggest owl I have ever seen. I didn’t stop for a picture because I was scared the noise of the motorcycle would scare it off.
Going into the south entrance to Yellowstone I found out the road to Old Faithful had a washed out bridge so to see it I would have to ride over 100 miles, bit it is a must see so off I went.
I rode the first hour without seeing anything but great views of rivers and forests.
There has been a fire in the park within the last few years so there is still a lot of burnt trees but you can see the new trees growing in their place. The park service must decide whether to put out the fires or let them burn. The tourists do not want to see a burnt forest but the fires are a natural part of the life of the forest and causes new growth. While you are waiting for Old Faithful they give talks about this and other subjects.
While riding around a curve I came upon a huge bison (buffalo) jus grazing on the side of the road. Like most Americans I had seen them in a zoo before but never one this large, easily the size of a small car. The bison are everywhere in the park and they know they own the park. They walk where they want, when they want.
I didn’t see any bear or deer while I was there but the bison made up for it.
The landscape within the park is fantastic. The Yellowstone River has formed every kind of sight. Rapids, lakes, waterfalls, and canyons are all within the park. The pictures simply do not do justice to the view.
Most of Yellowstone is the giant caldera of an active volcano. The last lava flow was 70,000 years ago, but the ground is very active.
The day was a long one. I rode over 300 miles in eleven hours and was able to see most of the famous sites in the park. Both parks have a speed limit of 45 mph but most of the time it’s 25-35.
This park is not easy to get to and takes a lot of time to see. If you don’t see it once in your life you will really be missing something. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to see it again.