Day 8 was a travelling day from Rapid city, SD to Cody in Wyoming on the entrance to Yellowstone national park. Got lost a little in Worland and took an unwilling detour through a town called Thermopolis.
Didn’t find a suitable camp so I took a room in a motel. And just by chance I found this charming lodge called the Grizzly Lodge in a small town of Silver Gate. This town is somewhat in the middle of nowhere, tucked between the hills north and south, Beartooth pass to the east and Yellowstone to the west. Very basic but very charming, no TV, so to speak - we did have a TV in the room but no TV signal. The owner did play a couple of DVDs every night but I didn’t get to watch any. As the main evening entertainment they lit a bonfire in the garden and invited guests to have to have a bottle of beer. Amazeballs :-) Unfortunately it was so wet and cold that on both evenings couldn’t stay very long but did get to meet some nice people. The first night it was a guy from Germany visiting his son but doing some sightseeing for himself before he sees him, there was also a group of teachers on a learning visit to Yellowstone to find out more about the problems of trying to preserve the nature and wildlife as it was and to somehow co-exist with the farmers surrounding Yellowstone. One of the biggest problems was brucellosis in the buffalo. On occasions the buffalo would cross the Yellowstone national park boundaries and get into contact with the farmer’s cattle and potentially infecting them.
On this photo you can see them right in Silver Gate, just across the road from Grizzly Lodge, where I was staying.
The second night the electricity went in the whole town because of the wind causing one of the trees to fall on the power cable. I was in the eatery next door and both the owners of the eatery and the lodge managed to get generators going so the power came back. At least the heating worked OK and boy did we need it. It was so cold I had frost on my bike in the morning.
The Yellowstone park is amazing and has such a variety of surroundings, from the almost alpine serenity to almost desert-like hills, sulphur gushing geysers - of course I have to mention the Old Faithful , but there are many many more smaller ones in the park.
One one pof the days I did drive round the entirety of Yellowstone and more bz chance found a sign next to a layby pointing towards a place called Grizzly Lake. Just the words “Grizzly Lake” peaked my interested so decided to park up, put on my hiking boots and go for an adventure. Soon things started to worry me. First thing I stumbled upon these warning signs. The basically advised against solo hiking and they advised having a bear spray which is a form of mace.
I had neither. With slightly diminished enthusiasm I pressed on only to find this… An actual footprint from a bear. Not doesn’t look like much on a photo but being there in that environment I could just feel some beary beedy eyes measuring me up for a kill. The whole areas used to be a forest but the trees must have been destroyed in a fire so you could see wuite far. Nevertheless I felt terrified.
Decided was not going to end up as one of those horrifying bear-attack-related stories and hastily returned back to my bike.