Day 6: Jackson, WY to Madison Camp, Yellowstone National Park, WY

4:15 am came early and I packed up my camera and braved the 27 degree temps to watch the sun come up over the Tetons. Of course, i also took along the handy coffee maker to stay warm.

This is looking east over the Yellowstone Mountains.


Along the way, I interrupted a large herd of Elk crossing the road. Well,large to me. I’d guess there were seventy or more. One large cow stopped in the road of course. This is why you don’t speed in areas with large wild life. As I slowed down, the new pipes barked, and the herd split and started running down both sides of the highway. I’ve rarely seen a more beautiful sight.

It was quite an hour watching the sun come up on the Tetons, the elk grazing down on a flat. I’ll upload more photos later, but here are a couple of shots from my morning out.



As beautiful as it was, it was also COLD! By 7:30 I was back at the Antler Motel and in a hot shower. A two hour nap set things right before Jeff and I got out to breakfast. After which we hit the market to pickup dinner (Jeff found bone-in NY steaks on sale and couldn’t say no.)

We spent most of the day in The Grand Teton National

Jeff continuing the “Zen” series



Even taking the time to ride to the top of Signal Mountain.


Crossing over the great devide, we passed Yellowstone Lake, which as you can see is still frozen over:


Along the way, we sighted a wolf, but didn’t have time for a photo. I think I’ll keep the camera hander for the rest of the trip!

We reached Madison Camp around 6. Carrots, chicken resoto,and NY bone in strips completed the evening.

We bear-proofed the camp and racked out for the night.

Route today: 111 miles


Day 7: Yellowstone National Park, WY

Before dinner last night I walked out to Madison Creek near the camp to see if there were any bison. It was a disappointing walk.

There was frost on the bikes when we got up. After a freeze-dried breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee it was warm enough to venture out.

While we were having breakfast, this little guy bounced into Jeff’s tent and left a present.


We started with the north loop of the park up to Mammoth. Here is a little taste of the ride…



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We had a lot of fun. And Jeff was clearly feeling his oats today!


The road was closed past Mammoth, so we doubled back to pick up dinner at Canyon Village when we were the 4th and 5th vehicles upon this accident. According to the park ranger, the guy let his right wheel drop off the edge of the pavement. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.


We were there for 45 minutes waiting on the wrecker and the (precautionary) ambulances. Jeff, being Jeff of course made a new friend with a young guy doing an internship at YNP in Landscape Architecture.

Canyon Village was a bit of a disappointment. After so much beef that we almost changed the name of this ride from “So, where we going?” to the “Where’s the Beef?” tour, they had no chicken, no pork, and only potatoes, broccoli, and beef. I can only assume someone called ahead and told them we were coming.

I bypassed camp to ride out toward the West Entrance and see if any bison had shown up while Jeff iced down the beer. We were in luck and after a couple of cold ones, hiked a about a mile and a half down the creek to get these shots.

I felt a little safer getting close this time because Jeff was wearing flip-flops and I was in tennis shoes. I figured I only had to outrun him.




We even saw a couple of Canadian Snow Geese with a gosling.


Back to camp with a cigar and the remaining brewskis, we watched clouds like these roll through for a couple of hours.


Jeff, ingenuous chef that he is, concocted a sautéd onion, potato, and french onion dip dish that was worth writing home about (even if it did take 2 hours to cook at altitude), and steaks that were amazing. I meanwhile managed not to ruin the broccoli. Too hungry to wait for photos, you’ll have to imagine how good everything looked.

This is living!

Today’s Ride: 94 Miles


Day 8: Madison Camp, Yellowstone National Park, WY, to Twin Falls, ID

Being awoke by a bison running through your camp three feet from the tent is a new experience for me. I’ll be happy to never repeat it. Startling to say the least.

Fully awake, I got up to starting getting around for a quick cup of coffee when an entire herd of bison decided to visit us for breakfast. I woke up Jeff (who slept through our mini-stampeed) and we watched for a half hour while they grazed in and around the camp.





And then they decided it was nap time…



Thats when we decided it probably be okay for us to relax and have breakfast while keeping a sharp eye out.

After a couple of hours, they stirred around and meandered off.

And so we got a late start on breaking camp. It was worth it!

The ride to Twin Falls was a little rough. High winds made it a little rough to stay on the road.

After a couple of nights in the dirt, it was time to hit a cheap hotel and do some laundry while I took a business call. I’ve been out of touch a week. Time to get back to business. It delays the trip, but it’s what makes the trip possible.

Today’s Ride: 280 Miles


Day 9: Twin Falls, ID to Baker City, OR

Day 9: Twin Falls, ID to Baker City, OR.

A late night and the need to do laundry equaled a late start. On the road by 1 PM, we dodged rain and construction on I84 to make it into the more scenic side of Idaho and Oregon.

We made this run pretty much straight through until we crossed over the state line. It was difficult to tell the mountains from the clouds, so we pulled over for the day’s single photo:


Jeff recommended the Geiser Grand hotel, as he had stayed there before. The staff was helpful and we made an early night of it for a change. I have client calls tomorrow starting at 8:30 am.

Today’s Ride: 253 Miles


Day 10: Baker City, OR to Bend, OR

Unfortunately our stay at the Geiser Grand was not up to par. The staff was friendly and the hotel itself was wonderful. The service however just didn’t make the grade. From the bellhop dropping Jeff’s helmet on the street and leaving it there for another guest to turn into the front desk, to dinner taking well over an hour to prepare – and then arriving overcooked, it was just disappointing.

Since I had intended to be back in the office by today, there were a couple of assignments waiting for me. I worked from 5:30 to 11:00 this morning in their Library and then we checked out for what turned out to be the best ride of the trip.

Some days it’s about being out, some days it’s about the scenery, some days it’s about the stops. Today it was all about the road. Today was probably the coldest day we have had, and by far the rainiest – and it didn’t make one bit of difference. Highway 26 is just amazing for bike riding.

Lots of 35 and 40 MPH curves that are smooth and banked just right. Practically no one else on the road at all. Even an overloaded cruiser had no trouble taking them at half again the posted limit in the rain. Without dragging boards.

Halfway there, just after the Rattlesnake Creek cut through, it opened up into giant sweepers. This road just begs for a sport-tourer. The scenery was spectacular as well, but with the sodden conditions and the road beckoning, I only stopped a couple of times for photos.

Having ridden Jeff’s BMW 1150 RT for an hour or so a couple of days ago, I knew he needed to let it run and waived him on ahead as I again had to circle back for gas. This 4.5 gallon tank is not the most brilliant idea Kawasaki has ever had.

He beat me to Bend by 45 minutes. That’s what happens when you have a bike that will take sweepers at 130 MPH. Couldn’t wipe the smile off either one of our faces for the rest of the evening. If I hadn’t already planned for a dinner with friends in Portland, I would have lobbied for retracing today’s ride tomorrow.


Jeff has been telling me about the McMenamin’s for years. Since at least 2005. So, when in Bend…

We got their last available bungalow and what a treat it was. Right next to the bar with three giant fire pits. A total 1940’s 800 sq ft home. Felt like I was back at my grandparent’s place in Arkansas. Great brew pub on the premise too – after today’s ride, we were in heaven.

Dinner at Pine Tavern, one of Jeff’s favorite places in Bend was also on the agenda. They had the deck closed be cause it was too cold, but we got to set next to it along the river. My steak was great, his chicken was cold and overcooked. (It was also free in the end.) We both still recommend it highly.

On the way back to McMenamin’s, we stopped by the Deschutes brewery to sample their wares. Very much worth the trip.

Topped the evening off by smoking a cigar around the fire pit outside the bungalow with one a Hogshead Whiskey from the McMenamin’s Edgefield Distillery. All in all, today is going to be a hard day to beat.

Today’s Ride: 233 Miles