Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 6, Yellowstone to Red Lodge, Montana

Wild flowers at Beartooth Pass (click on image to enlarge)

Sulfur pool at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park

Fossils at Beartooth Pass

Todays scripture: Psalm 122.

The overnight was not as cold this morning but still quite chilly by MN August standards. The plan is to meet for a quick cup of coffee and morning snack at 8:00 AM, then travel up to the north part of the park and get a meal at Mammoth Hot Springs. As mentioned in yesterday's blog most of the guys did not make it up to the north end of the park yesterday. After Mammoth Hot Springs we'd head back to the Northeast entrance and head up to Cooke City and Red Lodge via the Bear Tooth Pass. Here us what Greg has to say about the Beartooth: "Beartooth, good."

As mentioned previously, the ride up the eastern side of the figure 8 to Tower Falls is very dramatic. And, of course, it did not change from yesterday to today. We enjoyed it very much. At Tower some took in the falls, some just rested. At Mammoth we ate and filled with gas then everyone was to drive to the upper parking lot of the Mammoth structure to get the view from up high. Unfortunately the turn off into the area was not easy to find and many drove right by and had to come back and a couple never did make it so it took quite a while for all of us find one another. But we eventually re-grouped and were ready for the drive out of the park and up to Montana. By the way, I should point out that our numbers now are much less than the high of 17 we had on Monday night. Many of the guys had other plans or other things to see and places to ride. At this point we were 9 in number.

The ride up to the Northeast entrance was nice and scenic. We hit road construction immediately upon exiting Yellowstone and it was gravel the 4 miles into Cooke City. But from Cooke City to Red Lodge we were free and clear. The ride on 212 up to the Beartooth pass is one of the nationally known greatest motorcycle rides in the USA. The road is so remote and high in the mountains that it is closed in the winter and only snowmobiles take it. The pass is just 60' short of 11,000 feet above sea level. The road has many switchbacks and hairpin turns and outstanding views of mountains and valleys including large patches of snow. I (Wayne) remember taking this road on a motorcycle decades ago and the one other thing I remembered of the pass is the mountain wild flowers that grow amongst all the rocks. Well, they are still there and quite interesting. Again: "Beartooth, good".

The town of Red Lodge is a nice little town just at the bottom of the pass. It caters to tourists and a lot of motorcyclists during the summer and to skiers during the summer. We stayed at the Beartooth Hideaway in the town and ate supper at a Chinese joint.

Tonights bible study: Mark 15 Jesus and Simon of Cyrene and His passion.

Tomorrow: Beartooth again to the Chief Joseph Highway to Cody and Lovell Wy.