The Home Stretch

It’s been a long time since I last wrote about the trip so bear with me as I try to recount all the great things that have happened over the last week and a half. Wyoming was really beautiful and scenic as we got further into it with a lot of beautiful landscape.

Let’s talk about one of the most exciting parts of the trip: Yellowstone National Park. The ride in long and tough but after a lot of hard work and a steep 10 mile climb, we made it to the campsites. Camping was really fun and we ate some really good chili thanks to Clinton and Conor. That night we just relaxed and enjoyed the much cooler temperatures. The next day, a rest day, I did a trail called the Elephant Back Trail with a few friends and it was such a fantastic view at the top. You could see the entire Yellowstone Lake, islands in it, and big mountains in the distance. It just so happened that that was the best place to get reception in the park. Later, I just read by the lake and rested as much as possible. I thought it was pretty funny too how legitimately homeless we all look around a campfire wearing everything we own and eating (mostly beans) out of cans.

The ride from Yellowstone to West Yellowstone is one of my favorites so far. It was 65 miles I believe and was so scenic. We stopped at Old Faithful and checked out tons of geysers in the area. We even met a bunch of alum while walking around and waiting for Old Faithful to go off. It’s pretty neat hearing people read the back of your jersey as you walk by them. We’ve come so far already; actually making it to Yellowstone was a huge milestone in itself. The rest of the ride that day was awesome. We had a great water stop near the bank of a winding creek and a hill and "Loveshack" to dance to and keep us going. In the last 15 miles, we saw elk and a bald eagle. That was really amazing. Traffic was at a standstill as we all watched and waited for the bird to soar and she finally did. Apparently, a bald eagle’s wing span is about as big as me-5 feet. Crazy. The town of West Yellowstone was really cute too. While it was pretty touristy, there was an extremely wonderful homeade ice cream shop: City Creamer. I had the double chocolate orange and I would definitely go back for more. So good. A few of us then found the best book shop ever: The Bookworm. It was cramped and just chock full of books and antiques and little rooms with more stuff to look through. Probably the best one I’ve ever been to.

Montana so far has been really great. Two nights ago we stayed in Drummond and were given such a great meal it did not even feel like real life at all. Stuffed peppers? Are you kidding me? It was delicious, we’ve got it so good. A family across the street from the church was walking by as a few of us were reading outside. They told us about Missoula (our next stop/rest day) and one of the girls, Megan, asked if she could ride in the morning with us. That was really awesome, she didn’t even know us but just wanted to ride!

The ride to Missoula was gerat. It was a shorter day and we stopped to jump into a hot spring. The water wasn’t really all that hot, but who cares? We jumped in and explored a sweet cave that you had to swim under water to get to. It was pretty scary, but something I will never forget.

The rest of the ride was great, I only regret to say that I’ve had a bunch of flats lately and my rear tire finally blew out after 3100 miles. I even got one when we got to Chinese restaurant last night. So that’s kind of stressful but I’m getting over it.

Today, I checked out the downtown area, went to some bookshops, shopped for my secret santa (christmas in july for the i4k), and just enjoyed walking around all day. We’re in the homestretch of this ride already, I can’t really believe it. Tomorrow we’ll be in Idaho, then Washington, then Oregon. Less than two weeks of riding left, oh boy. It seems like so long ago that we left Central Park, it feels like a lifetime. I’m not sure how I feel about it really. More excited that we’re nearing the end or sad to leave such a fun and crazy lifestyle. Hopefully the next two weeks are really great as I’m sure they will be.

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