The Caldera

We ate breakfast at the visitor center area and got a relatively early start because of the long riding day. I saw my first geyser among the dozens at Norris Geyser Basin. I like that the signs are blunt and don’t beat around the bush… “More than a dozen people have been scalded to death…” So stay on the trail.

There’s hot stuff coming from all sorts of places, without markings. One pond on the side of the road looked normal but when Brent touched it, it was too hot. We rode along Gibbon river and I saw what looked like a car size boulder gushing hot water into the cool stream.

Even though the road shoulders were bigger (2-4 ft), we took some side roads whenever possible. For lunch , we found a peaceful spot and watched an expert fly fisherman wade his way up the river and actually saw him catch and release a few. We later talked to him and he told us they were rainbow trout. He gave Bob and Brent 2 of his handmade flies. After he waded past, we took a dip and cooled off. Further down the road we found a deeper, slower moving section and floated a bit downstream – very refreshing.

We took another bike path that the ranger described as “improved dirt”. It was basically shallow gravel but if you chose a good line and kept your momentum up, it was fine. It was a welcome relief from the busy roads. We saw a big bolt of lightning just as we joined the main road again.

We found a third bike path (only 2 miles) that led us right to Old Faithful. We lucked out on the timing and enjoyed it with 500 other people at 3:47pm. We sat in the lodge and drank a beer while marvelling at the grand woodwork and mentally preparing ourselves for the last 20 miles to Grant Village. We felt deceived many times by the hills around every corner, but sure enough, the 2 crossings of the continental divide were marked with sign posts.

We settled into our camp next door to a group of Boy Scouts from Virginia. The chaperone thanked us for tolerating the noise but it was silent to our tired ears. For dinner we ate at the restaurant. I ate the elk/bison meatloaf, and Bob had the bison steak – it didn’t taste much different than beef but it made us feel more adventurous.

We rode 67 miles.

nice spot to rest
Norris Geyser Basin
nice path to Old Faithful
Old Faithful sign
Just like I imagined
World Famous Geyser
Marveling at the wood work and clock
Crossing the divide a few times

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