07/29/2004

Day 60 - 7/29
Grant Village, WY to West Yellowstone, MT
61 (3544)

Greg and I started the morning with the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at the same restaurant we had dinner last night. I'd been dreaming about something like this the whole trip, and four plates later, I was very satisfied.

When we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant to get on our bikes, I realized I had a problem: another broken spoke. I had left my spare spokes in the motorhome, so Greg went back to retrieve them. Meanwhile I began the process of removing the rear wheel, tire and tube and pulling out the dead spoke.

As I disassembled everything there in the parking lot, a man carrying a portable respirator hooked up to his chest commented, "that's the problem with bicycling." Greg later suggested a retort: "that's the problem with smoking."

We were able to repair the spoke without much trouble and get the wheel into ridable condition. We both agreed that it was only a temporary fix-the thing need to be "trued" by a professional.

I then got on the phone to find out my options. After speaking with both bike shops in West Yellowstone, I doubted each shop's abilty to expertly construct a touring wheel. So I decided to order one. After a lot of phone calls and $130, the Seattle REI store was going to overnight a strong wheel they had just built.

So finally at noon, we got riding. We crossed the continental divide two more times. For every crossing the elevation seems lower and lower, so it's much less dramatic. But this being a national park, there are huge signs that mark the divide and tourists stop to get their pictures taken. Greg and I jumped, hooted and hollared at each passing just to freak everyone out.

We had lunch at Old Faithful and watched her do her thing. The parking lot was huge-it was a madhouse.

Greg and I went at different paces for the rest of the day. I stopped to see lots of geysers and springs and other things that bubble. Beyond that, I just enjoyed a nice ride through the beautiful park.

I was the last to arrive at the campground just outside of the park in Montana. Greg and Vim, the Dutchman whose just been a bit ahead of me the whole time, shared our campsite.

Vim, Greg and I went out to Mountain Mikes for dinner. We shared chili cheese fries and discussed breakfast options.