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Yellowstone Hike - Paced Bike Ride
By Stephen Dennis
| Carpooled to Julie's place with Robert Turner. On one of the stops for gas or breaks, Robert picked up two cartons of Western Family ice cream that was marked down half-off.
Waiting for us in the driveway, Ronnie sent us to the Loft saying that it was first-come, first-serve. It ended up being the bachelor pad with Rod, Dave Vance, Robert, Will, and I. I could have taken the bed above the garage, but I was too lazy to relocate my stuff.
Debbie had pot roast going. Lin made cold Korean noodles. Irene made the Olive Garden soup. Lin promised to make chicken's feet for Bret next time.
I got a chance to talk to Bret Mathews about the web site and was able to get Bo talking on a different occasion. Lin and I exchanged some Hokkien.
On the morning of the ride, temperatures were 27 degrees. It warmed up slowly. I used the same hybrid bike I used last year, but I raised the seat 3/4 inches, and that seemed to help tremendously. Holding back a reserve and keeping it down in a lower gear, I managed the long day without a repeat of last year's knee pain.
We all made it to Gibbon Falls. Lunch. Pictures. The viewpoint was covered in snow, but that just made a better platform for taking pictures of the falls.
On the return trip, the downhill cut through my pants with cold, and it started to snow. I thought we were going to be in serious trouble. But, it was only light snow, and it ended quickly.
When I reached the Madison bridge without knee pain, I knew I was going to make it, so I opened my reserve and finished in the middle of the pack. I know it isn't intended to be a serious bike ride, but I was pleased that the lead guys had not finished loading up to leave when I arrived.
At one point, we see two beautiful foxes in the Kilgore backyard, but they disappeared before we could get a good shot. Next, we hear all these distressed animals coming from the front of the house or perhaps from the breezeway. Dave was pranking us with one of his toys.
The next morning, we did a short hike near the lake looking for moose and other animals. The snow started slushing in places. Robert's camera ran out of batteries, and we saw his snowshoe tracks headed back the way we came. There was a Golden Eagle in one of the trees and some other birds. We saw the moose on the opposite shore. And, then, Dave broke his drone and fell back from the group as we returned via the top of the subdivision. Everyone made it back about the same time, and later we had a moment of silence for Dave's lost drone.
I'm just so happy that I shook off the problems of last year. It was a good trip.