The advantages

The disadvantages of going home early? I don’t want to talk about it. Yesterday someone remarked on hearing me laugh and said it was the first time she’d heard that in days. I want to be able to laugh again. So here goes:

  • I won’t have to pack up a wet tent at 5 AM. I guess I could have said I won’t have to get up at 5 AM
  • It won’t be 34 degrees when I wake up
  • I can sleep in my own bed
  • I can take a nap if I want to
  • I won’t have to dry everything out every afternoon
  • I won’t have 50 well-meaning people asking me how I feel every day, nor wondering why I’m not all better yet
  • I can ride my bike if I want to, where I want to, as far as I want to…or not at all
  • I won’t have to be the last to eat
  • I won’t have to eat sitting outside on the ground (or, in today’s luxury due to the cold, on the floor in a vestibule away from everyone else
  • BEST OF ALL, I can rejoin the tour in 2.5 weeks when I feel better!
  • When I get back, I won’t be in quarantine. If the virus is still making its way through the group, I should be immune for a while

We’ve received word of an outbreak among the local staff where we spent our first night. They were apologetic, as though they’d given it to us. I think it was the other way around. I imagine word getting around that we are a traveling superspreader and being run out of town by a posse. Lacking a film clip for that posse image, we’ll settle for Marty Robbins:

We awoke in Ennis at 43 degrees. The temperature dropped a bit as we packed up. At least this is warmer than the 34 in West Yellowstone this morning, our destination for the day. Somehow, getting well and sleeping outside at 40 degrees do not seem compatible.

Ennis High School is home of the Mustangs and our host, who is retiring this year, is Sally, ergo:

The mountain sun is very different from low elevation sun. It has warmed up to 52 degrees at 8 AM. In the sun, it is hot!

Back in the saddle!

I’m back in the saddle again! I rode the last 16 miles, slightly uphill, to West Yellowstone. After a beer and shrimp tacos, I rode into Yellowstone National Park, making the first use of my Senior Pass. Another dozen flat miles and I feel great! Maybe…

The bar featured many local brews. The menu listed a rotating seasonal. I asked and it was Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. I told the waitress I could have that any time an ordered a local amber ale. Turns out she is from Elkhorn, WI. I never got to find out what brought my her to West Yellowstone or what keeps her here. She was busy, despite it being 2 PM.

After my quick park tour I stopped in town for ice cream and got back to camp with 5% battery life. I’m sitting in a high school hallway, attached to the last electrical outlet. Meanwhile, my auxiliary battery is charging from the sun and will be fully charged before the phone is.

A devastating earthquake in 1959 wiped out a campground below this hill. Almost nothing has grown back.
The ride up to Earthquake Lake (created by the quake)
I started my ride here, with a 55 mile head start
Blogger on the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. No sign of Yogi Bear. Snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Author: halffastcyclingclub

We are a group of friends who ride bikes. Some of us are fast, some of us are slow, all of us are half-fast. In 2018, one of us rode coast to coast across the US. It was so much fun, he's doing it again in 2022! If we meet Sal Paradise, we'll let you know.

12 thoughts on “The advantages”

  1. I was in Billings in 1959, staying at my grandma’s. That quake was huge and some of my family was camping in the Park. If you get really bored you can read about it here: There’s also a Part Two

    Your photos made me cry. I’m so homesick — for places and people — sometimes like when I’m sick. 😀 I’m very happy you took a little ride into the park. If Jackson Hole is your next destination, I really hope you get to make that ride.

    Liked by 1 person

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