These are Real Mountains (The Rocky Mountain Chapter)

I know it has been quite a while since I last blogged (due to lack of internet access and from so many different activities going on).

Anyways, what seems like several weeks ago, I drove the car during our ride through Big Horn. This ride was extremely beautiful, although I regret having to drive, I was able to experience gorgeous scenery which was a precursor to what lay ahead in the west.

With The Big Horn Mountains leading into the Rocky Mountains, the scenery became spectacular and our first camping adventure lay ahead when we going to Yellowstone. Although the Rocky Mountains are over 3000 miles long from New Mexico to Canada and stretches up to 300 miles wide, we were still able to ride through 3 continental divides, 2 of which were in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone was unbelievable! With my first visit to Yellowstone, our day of arrival was quite interesting. Due to the fee of $12 a biker, we decided to caravan everyone into the park, 4-5 people and their bikes at a time. Although this was the only logical idea at the time, it took over 2 hours for the van to get to our campsite 30 miles into the park (Bridge Bay Campground) to unload the van and get back to the entrance. Waiting and becoming tired, many of us were not prepared for the steep incline that met us once we entered the park. Climbing up the mountains, I realized that I would never forget this experience, although late and tired, the views were breathtaking. Also, as Dana, XiXi, and I climbed up, we took breaks, some at the freezing meltwater waterfalls next to the road to cool off. As we rode higher the air became thinner, but Yellowstone was more than I expected it to be.

Never really camping before, I enjoyed the life outdoors, BUT I would have enjoyed hot water. It makes you realize how fortunate we are for the little things and how much we are given each day. Since we got a day off in Yellowstone, I told everyone that I wanted to go watch the sunrise at the park on Yellowstone Lake, which was 2 minutes away from where we camping. Many people wanted to watch the sunrise, but only Brad and I rolled out of our sleeping bags at 4:30 AM to walk down to the lake. The sunrise was amazing, although it actually came up at 6:00 AM over the mountains onto the lake. With a hike and a nap, I took the day as a rest day and relaxed, which I needed.

The next day we rode out of the park into Montana to West Yellowstone. The day started off colder than I have ever felt. Not feeling my hands and most of my body, we pedaled as fast as we could to warm our bodies up. I think these cold frigid mornings have been the only time I have been excited to climb, and climb we did. That day we rode over the continental divide, not once, but twice over 8000 feet high. As the day grew warm, so did we and we rode into Old Faithful to watch my first geyser show. Although not as impressed as I wish I was, Connie, Amy, Dana and I rode around Yellowstone looking at the geysers and other natural formations in the Caldera Boundary. Realizing that this supervolcano can blow at any moment and take the US with it, I was quite afraid, and very excited to get out of the boundary and into Montana.

Although the mornings in Montana have been by far the coldest, it has also been the most beautiful place to ride through. If you were to stop and turn in a 360 degree circle in one spot, you would see mountains surrounding you. Mountains on every side, while you stand in a perfectly flat valley. The rides have been amazing, and as we approached these mountains that lay ahead I realized that I have been so fortunate for being able to meet the people I have and that I have been so fortunate that this opportunity worked out for me.

Through towns of thousands of people, to towns of 50 (Wisdom, where we stayed for a night), the people that we have met everywhere have a common bond, their encouragement and their humanity towards us keeps us going. Their generosity and love that people have shown makes what we do worth every mountain we climb and every painful pedal worth the struggle.

 

Our journey ends soon, but our memories will live on forever,so will our friendships we have made, the people that we have met and impacted our lives, and the generosity that has been shown, none of that will be forgotten.

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