Pacific Coast 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day 4-6: Just a tad bit nipply to Death style heat!

First off, sorry for not getting up these stories quicker...I was in a location where there wasn't high-speed internet and as you can see with the size of the images, it'd be painful to upload with a 56k modem. Wow, where do I begin....well, last think I wrote I was in Big Sky, Montana...Day 4 was supposed to be a larger than normal day (I was hoping to get 350 miles in)...I took off at 8:30am and just before I left, I checked the weather in Yellowstone, Jacksons Hole and Logan, Utah...all were surprising...Yellowstone was a balmy -1 degree Celsius, Jackson's Hole was 1 degree Celsius and Logan was, with the wind chill, just a little bit chilly!

Yellowstone Park Oxbow RiverThe drive to Yellowstone was quick...once I made it to the park, I quickly filled up and headed in...the first 5 miles was great! It was virtually empty ...but then I came around a corner to absolutely stopped first I thought it was a wreck (though hoping not)...eventually, about 15 minutes later I started moving (slowly though)...guess what it was? Two moose...thats it! After the moose stau, the park opened up and most of the RV's went the long loop and I took the short is really amazing to drive around and look across at the landscape to see it makes me think about when the park was first discovered ...the guys who discovered it said that it was the devil's land...I can see why!

Yellowstone RiverAfter I made it through the park, I continued south towards Jackson, Wyoming... this was my favorite part of the day...John D Rockefeller Parkway through Grand Tetons National Park is amazing! Most of the ride is in the valley...just to the right of me (west side) are rugged, sharp, tall, snow capped mountains known as the
Tetons. I stopped by a large lake where I took a short was finally starting to get warmer.

After the stop, I was on to Jackson, Wyoming. This is a neat looking town, but 100% a tourist didn't really seem like a place I'd really want to stop, so I just filled up and took off...I was headed through the Mormon "bible belt".

TYellowstone Riverhis part of the ride was very beautiful and I was pretty much alone on the road the entire section of the ride. I did discover the bluest lake I've ever seen just south of Paris, Idaho. This made for a good 10 mile stretch (I was absolutely amazed on how blue it was)

Finally, about 5:30pm I showed up in Logan, Utah (my original target destination) but after getting there, the hotels seemed somewhat shady and I was still amp'd to keep going, so I headed on thinking I was going to stop in Ogden (about 30 miles southwest) ...that was good thinking, but bad planning...apparently there is a worldwide conference for the Rotary club in Salt Lake City...EVERY (and I mean every) hotel was booked from Ogden to South Salt Lake City...of course, I didn't know this and when I asked hotels if they had vacancy, they all simply said "no", not "why" they didn' I stopped in 14 different this time I was very tired...riding since 8:30am, and had already put in approx 460 miles...I justGrand Teton Lake wanted a bed and to goto, I decided to keep riding and hopefully make Wendover, Nevada...this is where I was going to ride to on Day 5, so I just combined two days into one...There is one benefit though, I did get to see the sun set on the great salt lake...this has to be one of my top 5 most beautiful and humbling sights I've ever seen! I tried to get some pictures of it, but since my tripod is packed deeply in my bag, nothing turned out.

Well, the final mileage (after I got to Wendover) was 581 miles! The first place I stopped was also full, so I was begining to think I wasn't going to find anything, but I stopped at the next door casino and found a room...the only rooms they had left were their $70 rooms...I said "I don't care, can I just take it!"...Guess what it had? I had an actual hot tub in my room! (and a 46" HD Plasma TV) I felt like a high roller!!!

Well, thats all for the long day! I stayed in Wendover for two nights and took off this morning taking the most lonely highway I've ever seen! It was crazy, there were no buildings, hardly any cars (maybe 14 total all day) and all I could see was the road ahead of me for as far as I could see...the roads are so incredibly straight! I can't describe how empty it is out there in the desert. There is absolutely nothing!!! Well, I made it through to a town right outside of Death Valley National Park...I'm going to bed early tonight so I can get up at 5:00am and make the trip through the park ...if I wait too long, the temperature will reach above 120 degrees, and I don't want to be in that!

Stay tuned for pics and stories from Death Valley (if I make it :-)



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