July 5 To Yellowstone or Bust!

Most of the team would agree there is nothing more daunting than getting back on the bike after a rest day.  However, the day we left Cody, Wyoming was no ordinary day.  Our destination was Yellowstone National Park.  We have talked about the day we would get to go camping in Yellowstone for most of the trip- and how far away it seemed.  However, today Yellowstone was only about 80 miles away.  We all expected the park to be beautiful, but we were all unsure about what the road there was going to bring.  There was talk of difficult climbs and steep upgrades.  Yellowstone would bring us back to an altitude above 8000 feet again.


The first 50 miles weren’t as difficult as everyone had speculated.  Even if it had been difficult the view of the valleys and mountains were more than worth it.  We followed the rolling hills along the river all the way to the entrance of the park.  Along the way we ran into another team of cross-country bikers who are riding west coast to east coast against poverty.  They were the ones who gave us a tip for the road ahead in Yellowstone.  They told us that a park ranger had strongly advised them get off the road and ride in their support vehicle for part of the way because the road was so dangerous.


Once we got to the park, we saw the road for ourselves and made the call.  Unfortunately due to the road being very long and steep, having little to no shoulder, and also heavy traffic from the holiday (especially RVs) we made the decision not to ride the last 30 miles to our campsite.  As unfortunate as it was to make the decision not to ride- we were comforted with the decision knowing that safety always comes first.


So we took shifts taking everyone and their bikes back and forth from the entrance to our campsite.  Even though we weren’t on our bikes, we still got to see Yellowstone’s beauty firsthand.  Everything you may have seen or heard about Yellowstone is a huge understatement.  All the trees, mountains, and lakes took your breath away.  We even got to see a couple buffalo on the way up!


The campsite was a little chilly but luckily a warm fire (the boys love collecting fire wood) kept us warm.  We also got to enjoy Mac n’ Cheese and S’mores by the campfire thanks to Lauren Mazurski.  Lauren is a previous I4K rider who mailed our whole team a care package in Cody including all the ingredients for S’mores.  THANK YOU SO MUCH LAUREN!  It made our night!

Comments (1)
  • Gayle Winters says:

    How very thoughtful of Lauren M. to send those camp foods to your team. Thanks Lauren!! And thank you Illini 4000 team for putting safety first on your decision about riding to the camp site. :)

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