Jackson, Wyo to Cooke City, Montana

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 10.41.04 PMIt couldn’t have been a more beautiful day for a ride. It’s been a while since I was out here last, but Grand Teton National park was beautiful. We’ll be going through again tomorrow on our way back to Jackson—which is good. There were a couple of things we wanted to see but missed.

Looking at the glacier on Grand Teton, you’d be hard pressed to tell me that global warming doesn’t exist. At the rate it’s going, I’d be surprised if there was any glacier left ten years from now.

There wasn’t much traffic though the park and through Yellowstone. I’ve never been through the north-east corner of the park and it was beautiful. After stopping for lunch at Old Faithful, we pointed the bikes north and headed for Montana. We went through 20-30 minutes of rain (and even saw a little bit of hail), but we made it to Old Faithful warm and dry.

IMG_2964_1We made friends with the busboy, a retired 78-year old school principle from Georgia. Bill figured he’d never been west of the Appalachian Mountains so decided to work at Yellowstone and see the west. It sounded like he was having a good time seeing things he’d never seen before. Definitely pretty spry for someone pushing 80.

IMG_2962_1Heading out of the park, we shared the road for a few minutes with the biggest bull bison I’d ever seen. He was just walking down the road like he didn’t have a care in the world. In fact, we saw a lot of bison—they are thriving in the park.

Late in the day, we came across a small black bear moseying along the side of the road. I could have reached out and touched the little guy.

IMG_2959_1I was amazed at how the park is recovering since the fire. Last time I was here, grass had sprung up to replace the burnt trees, today it’s millions of pine trees that are diminutive when compared to the remnants of the forest that was, but are probably 10-12 foot tall. It was beautiful to see the forest reclaim what was lost.

The sun was setting as we cruised out of the park approaching the park entrance through the meadows and mountain valleys of this end of the park. It’s very different from the west side, but there were a lot more animals and very beautiful. The last hour or so we were in the dark as we rolled into Cooke City and decided to spend the night. We found a quite hotel to get some sleep and prepare for tomorrow’s ride over Bear Tooth Pass. I’m in undiscovered country for me now, which is always fun.

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