Day 20: 41 miles - We had planned to take our time through Yellowstone to give the legs a little rest and so we'd get to see everything we wanted to. Our maps gave us a route through the park but didn't really give much on great places to stop. So for that, we stopped at the West Yellowstone bike shop Free Heel and Wheel for some advice on the way out of town. They convinced us that taking a route through Canyon Village and Yellowstone Lake would be more worthwhile than the route by Old Faithful that the TransAm map provided. So we headed into the park following the Madison and then the Gibbon rivers to Norris Geysers. Along the way we saw some great rivers along with some Bison and Elk. We stopped at Norris and took a little hike to check out all of the geysers. It's amazing that all that heat from so far down can be transferred to the surface. From there, we rolled on to Canyon Villiage. Once there, we took a hike down along the canyon to check out the falls. I really didn't know what to expect coming into it, but it was really amazing. The falls was over 300 feet tall and the canyon walls were over 1000 feet tall in some places. It was awesome to see the Yellowstone River flowing for miles through this deep canyon.
It turned out that the campground at Canyon Village was not open for the season so we rode around the village looking for a place to pitch a tent. We went down behind the lodge towards the area with the cabins thinking we might find some utilities. The cabins hadn't been opened for the season either, but they had been opened up to air out before guests arrived. So as we rode by, several of the cabin doors were wide open. We waited for it to get dark and then quietly pulled all of our stuff inside. Long story short, we got a free bed in a heated cabin courtesy of Yellowstone National Park. What a treat.
We also met a guy who started in New Hampshire in early April and is riding to Jackson, WY. He had planned to move there to work in a resort town and figured he'd just ride his bike there. He's only about 140 miles away, so he should be finishing up his 3000+ mile ride here in a few days.
Tomorrow we're planning on taking another short day, heading south to check out Yellowstone Lake.
5 years ago