Greybull, WY to Butte, MT
Through Yellowstone National Park
I walked to a really dumpy restaurant across the street for breakfast. Myles told me their breakfast was okay but their lunch and dinner was to be avoided. It got me fed without unpleasant after-effects, so no harm, no foul.
I took highway 310 north to Red Lodge where I gassed up, then began my climb up the Beartooth Pass. The road up climbs the northern face of a deep valley wall before reaching the spectacular summit at just a hair below 11,000 feet. The top has a 360-degree view of the surrounding snow-dappled mountains and it simply takes your breath away. I consider it the most spectacular scenery I have ever witnessed, even more so than Zion and Glacier national parks (although they’re very close).
I then descended down the other side and entered the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. I never realized how large Yellowstone is. It cost me $20 to get in and took several hours to ride to the other side. The speed limit varies between 25 mph up to 45 mph, and I hear they can be pretty strict about violations. I saw a lot of buffalo, a mother black bear and her two cubs, and a lone, sandy-furred wolf loping along a river bank near a large buffalo. Lots of people were stopped to photograph it. I never saw any moose or grizzlies.
Out of the park, I stopped in West Yellowstone, Montana and gassed up, then ate a snack at a small but very busy McDonalds before continuing north to Butte.
Just north of Ennis the clouds above the mountains gave me a wonderful site. The virga — rain that falls but never reaches the ground — looked like blue and grey hair. I ended up riding almost completely around the storm without it ever getting directly above me. When I reached I-90 for the fast run into Butte, looking back I could see the storm had moved on top of the road I had just traveled.
Because of the slow slog through the park and the great distance I had to travel, this ended up being my longest day yet, time-wise. I left Greybull at 7:50 AM and didn’t get to Butte until 5:45 PM. In Butte, I gassed up in preparation for the next day and checked into the very nice Best Western there. Dinner was a whiskey on the rocks and a chef salad in the lounge, then I went outside and cleaned the construction dust off my chain and added some oil to the engine.