Day 34, Yellowstone Park. 156 miles
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Today we were rewarded with a plethora of colors. Sure the pines dotted the landscape with dark green and the meadows also shone green while interspersed with brown buffalo.
But the geysers? Oh my.
Pools of deep turquoise that seemed to plummet to the center of the earth, circled with bright orange soils stained with micro bacteria were a feast to the eyes.
The steam from the pools reflected the blue and orange, changing constantly as the winds moved it in a continual dance, the colors tinting the steam up to fifteen feet high.
The geysers and hot springs looked sometimes like moonscapes, others like Satan was below, mixing up a caldron of evil.
Some shot steam into the air while others boiled mud bubbles that popped continuously.
We fired up the Gold Wing and rode onward, to a reward of pure white snow as we reached the summit of the Great Divide.
Onward and downward we rode to the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls. The water crashed over the cliffs to the river below, sending cold instead of warm vapors upward.
And here's a touching moment. I savoredthe view and noticed the guy to my right on his knee. Something shiny. He's proposing to his girl! Very cool. She cried and said yes and I offered to take a picture of them, the joy complete on their faces. I would post a picture of them if I took a picture with my camera!
Finally a chance to hike, and the trail led to the top of the falls, the ground shaking from the tremendous water surge.
Then, that moment of revelation. The canyon, deep and narrow, waa yellow in color.
Yellow stones! Yes, this was what Yellowstone Park was named after! How about that.
I panted up a switch backing trek back to the parking lot and QG washolding court, three people surrounded her and the bike. I met Steve, who traveled on his own adventure. He toured with his 38' travel trailer behind his pickup. In the box of his truck he carried a (PP!)Honda 1100. He goes somewhere, stays a few weeks and tours on his bike. He's doing 50 states in four and a half years!
I felt a connection with him as he lost hs wife in '09, while I lost my business at the same time. I realize his loss was exponentially greater. We seemed to share the same motives for our respective trips.
We headed back home and the skies opened up. We donned rain gear, and it's all good until we stopped for dinner. QG's pants leaked. Dang it.
Heading home after a nice meal of pulled pork and a pulled chicken sandwich at (PP!) Beartooth Barbeque (delicious!), we got held up by buffalo again, as another one sauntered down the highway. The Harleys in front of me wisely shut off their bikes. Or maybe stupidly. Can't you pop it into gear and launch should he bolt? Maybe you should keep ot running. Beats me.
Tonight it's a KOA cabin. The weather is a bit sketchy.
Tomorrow we head out on the highway, looking for adventure, whatever comes our way, in Idaho.