So where were we? Oh yes, Yellowstone..... our route through the park was hampered by roadworks so lots of back tracking. Plenty of wildlife in evidence. The weather was mixed and we got wet on a few instances, but the scenery was beautiful and the thermal activity amazing. We went to the mud pots and on checking my photos realised we only took video of this, which I don't have access to so you will have a take my word for it.
4 July - Drove up to Mammoth Springs, watched the deer chasing and playing in the river, appears I didn't take photos of that either! Being the holiday weekend nothing much was open but we did manage to get a hot drink and shelter from the weather in Gardiner. Back into the park via Tower Jct we came across a large number of parked cars and stopped to be nosy, only to discover a black bear - our first sighting - lumbering across the meadow - of course this is on video too!! Further up the road we caught sight of him again as he rounded a hill and we tracked his progress with binoculars. Whilst watching the horizon through the binoculars I picked up another bear, a mother with 2 cubs, I was so excited, the cubs were running around and climbing trees. On our previous visit we had not managed to see any bears so can you believe that 5 miles up the road we came across another - so that was 5 bears in one day. Also saw 3 large elk but no moose.
The rest of the day was a bit of an anti climax due to the weather, we had an early dinner, watched a bit of the parade, then ended up watching the fireworks from the hotel room as it was pouring with rain.
5 July - Out of the park via Mammoth Springs it was so cold, liners back in jackets and waterproofs. As the road was quiet Peter took the opportunity to warm the bike up..... we stopped for another bear sighting and whilst there was asked very politely by a Park Ranger to keep our speed down!!!!!! As we had exceeded the park speed limit. So suitably told off we left the park.....slowly. The ride out was spectacular heading for Billings via the 212 Beartooth Highway, a few words describe this pass - cold, high, twisty, snowy
Billings was a dealership stop - bike to be serviced, which we had booked ahead, that took care of the morning. Then off to Spearfish via a scenic route through 2 Indian Reservations, the first 9 miles was under roadworks, they had removed the surface of the road so we were riding on loose gravel, not fun and very challenging for Peter especially when a truck coming in the opposite direction sent up dust and stones due to his excessive speed. The language from the front to the bike is not printable here! We survived (if somewhat dusty) and once back onto tarmac enjoyed the ride apart from the deer who decided it was fun to play dodge with the bike rather than run in the huge empty spaces around them. We passed from Montana, back into Wyoming and then into South Dakota all in one day... and that's where we will leave it for today