Cape Gazette

SEA TO SHINING SEA: A sweet ride through Yellowstone

By Dennis Forney | Jun 18, 2013
Photo by: Dennis Forney A fly fishermen works the waters of the Madison River, beneath one of Yellowstone National Park's dramatic stone formations.

DAY 36 – Fly fishing across America. We started the day in West Yellowstone, a gateway resort town on the western edge of Yellowstone National Park. It was in the 30s when we started riding at about 7:30 a.m. but the day warmed quickly. Between fly fishermen on the Madison River, buffalo on the roadways, geyser fields and Old Faithful, and a touring rider making his way from Harlingen, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska, this was our most dynamic day since we started our trip. Yellowstone, designated in 1872 by President U.S. Grant as the nation's – and the world's – first national park, lived up to its billing as a spectacular park.

(If Wyoming history interests you, read my Barefootin' column in this Friday's Cape Gazette – also on line at You'll learn about the Milton, Delaware native who helped Grant with his presidential campaign, received appointments in the Wyoming territory, wrote the legislation for Wyoming statehood, and went on to be the state's first US Senator and eventually governor.)

We ended the day in Grant Village which we're guessing was named in honor of President Grant. Today we logged 55 miles, averaging about 9.4 mph with a total of 3,587 feet of ascent. Our total is now 1,419 miles.

Follow our cross-country bicycle journey on Facebook by liking Sea to Shining Sea »

Here are some photographs from Yellowstone.

The Madison River, following a few lazy bends, reflects morning sun.
It didn't take long for buffalo to make the scene in Yellowstone.  This one did some profiling in the middle of the main route through the park.
This buffalo wandered over the road and then rolled into a favorite dust wallow for a dry bath and a short nap.
And here's what happens in Yellowstone when a buffalo stops in the middle of the road: traffic stops, backs up, and drivers get out and start taking pictures.
With a 1 p.m. crowd of about 2,000 watching, Old Faithful erupted right on schedule.  A park ranger said Old Faithful is Yellowstone's most reliable geyser, but another one nearby which he called the giganta geyser, throws up the greatest plume. "That one erupts about three times each year.  I call it the Democrat.  Why?  Three summers ago Joe Biden was here looking at Old Faithful and the giganta geyser decided it was time to erupt. It put up a great show for the vice president."
Wade stopped to chat near the top of a pass.  He's on his way from Harlingen, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska where he plans to meet his father and brother in late September.  "I'm a lifelong surfer dude.  This is the longest I've ever been away from surfing since I was 14." Wade, whose long exposure to the sun has given him some skin cancer problems, keeps himself totally covered from the sun. (See next photo.  He's swaddled in merino wool.) He's carrying about 85 pounds of gear including fly-fishing rod and extra tires.
Simon, a Brit from Brighton, England, also stopped to chat.  He had been riding several days with Wade before Wade decided to camp along a lake a few days for some fly fishing.  At this point Simon was tired.  A long day and the campground at Grant Village where he had hoped to rest and sleep was closed due to inordinate amount of bear activity. One of the employees at Grant Village said the bear activity is not unusual this time of the year.  "We have one of the largest bears in Yellowstone right here in this area," he said.  "He's a 900-pounder that we call Crusher."
Becky and I crossed into Wyoming from Montana when we entered Yellowstone.  This is the highest pass we've crossed to date, one of several that are along the Continental Divide. We have already crossed the divide three times and will cross four more times before we stay permanently east of the divide.
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