A descriptions of today’s ride from the Great Divide book…presto—just like that, you leave canyon country behind. Suddenly you’re rolling through a wide-open terrain of grain and potato fields…”. It happened just as the book described. As we climbed out of the canyon we found ourselves in the middle of hay and potato fields as if we were transported to another place.
The first ten miles was on pavement on a plateau amongst hay and potato fields. In the distance we could faintly see the Teton range but with active wildfires in the area we could only faintly see the range. The remaining 37 miles was on wash boarded gravel roads in a forested area. I invented a new descriptor for gravel roads, ATV only. The ATVs created washboards for the first 15 miles of the pavement which is difficult for cars and especially bicycles. The cars traveled fast to keep on top of the washboards and many didn’t slow down for us. They created big dust storms in their wake. For us cyclists, we could not get enough speed to stay on top of the washboards and we felt ever divet in the road. Thankfully for the scenery and the quiet surroundings to keep our mind occupied on the beauty and not the challenge.
The next 10 miles was labeled rough. Good news for cyclists because the uneven roads slowed cars and trucks to a crawl and they could not create dust storms. Better yet, there were no washboards. The rough roads had large car sized tires tracks from the mud perfect tracks to ride in!
Btw, since Leaving Grass Hopper we tucked away our bear bells as bears were not active in the area. However today we attached the bear bells as we were traveling in forested area. In fact, Erika the bear tracker found black bear prints on the roads today.
The final destination Flagg Ranch is near the west entrance to YellowStone NP. It was busy and crowded and sold out of camp spots. We had few options for camping but one that of the most promising was a small National Forest campground a mile down the road. It was full as well but Erika kindly asked another camper if we could share their campsite. The Aussies were more than happy to share with us and we had a place to camp for the night!