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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 61: Colter Bay to Old Faithful - Hail to the Victors

Wednesday July 16, 1986, 68 miles (109 km) - Total so far: 3,098 miles (4,986 km)

Yellowstone National Park

Craig Pass 8,261'

The morning was pretty cold, and I'm glad Gene invited me to stay in his cabin last night. We grabbed some quick breakfast and headed north to Old Faithful in Yellowstone. We departed to a very colorful sunrise reflecting off the clouds and mountains. The road was not too bad and traffic was light until we reached Yellowstone.

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Early morning departure from Teton NP

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Note the Elk in the picture.

Around 11am it started to rain off and on and the wind picked up. We crossed the first 2 continental divides in rainy, sunny, rainy conditions. The weather couldn't decide what it wanted to do. After the second continental divide the traffic was getting heavy and I could see a storm blowing in from the west. The temperature was dropping when Gene and I decided we better get to the snow lodge before things got worse.

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Yellowstone south entrance

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1 of 3 Continental Divides before Old Faithful

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2 of 3 continental divides before Old Faithful

By the time we reached the top of Craig Pass a massive storm hit, hail and freezing rain. I had my full rain suite on but I was still freezing. It was too dangerous to ride during the hail so we took shelter under a little roof covering the sign on top of Craig Pass. Gene and I watched hail balls bounce off the roadway, we looked at each other and laughed. The hail finally ended and the freezing rain took over, covering the road with 3 inches of slush.

While taking cover a Japanese tour group stopped to take pictures of the sign, the one we were taking cover under. When the tourists came off the bus to take a picture Gene and I went to the other side of the sign as not to ruin the picture. When we went to the other side of the sign they would motion to us to move back in front to be in the picture. It seems that they wanted us to be in the pictures, and I'm not sure why.

The storm passed and Gene and I departed Craig Pass cautiously downhill to old Faithful Area. The slush was about 3 to 4 inches thick and it felt weird to be in this storm. I was freezing cold as we descended down the pass, and my fingers were numb. We arrived at the snow lodge wet, cold and glad to be staying indoors. The snow Lodge was pretty nice for only $29.

Tomorrow will be a day off here to checkout the sights. I think Fred went to Cody today and he'll meet up with us here tomorrow.

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Me at Yellowstone Lake a couple years ago.


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