August 30, 2001

8/30/01 Bay Bridge

53.6 / 6936 miles

Man, oh man, does it get cold up here in the mountains. The bitter cold kept me in my sleeping bag while the sun kept trying to get me up. By the time I left, I had on a jacket, arm warmers, pants and winter gloves.

At first I thought I was just going to zone through the day because I came down this same road last time I was here. But things really did look different coming from a different direction, so I ended up taking more pictures. Went up Firehole Canyon and saw more beautiful waterfalls. Maybe things just had a different perspective cause I saw things I couldn't remember at some of the geyser basins.

Even though it was only sixteen miles from Madison Junction to Old Faithful, it took me most of the morning to get there. Since I'd seen the famous geyser shoot off last time, I ended up sprinting to the top of a one-mile long, 250' climb to a bird's eye view. Made it with just minutes to spare. Turns out an older couple also up there remembered me with the buffalo herd on the road yesterday.

Old Faithful again!

Saw more buffalo (or bison as they're properly called) today but most of the time they were single animals, and with obstacles between us like rivers. But at the end of the day, I had to wait as two buffalo crossed the road leading to my tent site a hundred yards away.

Lots of variable weather today. Bitter cold, warm, windy, cloudy, freezing rain, warm, and then scattered showers as I write this. The freezing rain only lasted ten or fifteen minutes but it chilled me very fast. I was able to find some shelter at last at the West Thumb Bookstore. The rain let up and the road was already dry by the time I decided to push on another twenty miles to another campsite. That should give me more time to sight-see tomorrow.

When I reached the campground, I was excited to see two cyclists from Belgium had already checked in. Kris and Didier Serwg are nearing the end of a one-year bike trip that included Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Coast Trail, Banff & Jasper in Canada, and now Glacier and Yellowstone before they head southwest through Zion in Utah. I took over some cookies to introduce myself and we ended up talking for hours. Kris is a Physical Therapist and Didier is the comedian of this couple. "Sit next to Jim so I can take a picture but don't kiss him like the last guy!" he said. Kris just rolled her eyes. They're headed to Madison tomorrow but I might see them again when I stay at Jenny Lake in the Tetons.

Kris & Didier