Thursday, July 7, 2011

Yellowstone - Mnt. Rushmore

Cycling out of the canyons east of Yellowstone was beautifull. The stretch into Cody was nice and downhill for a while. The wind was not supposed to come from the east but it did so .. 5 miles an hour was the result..
I visited the biggest dam in the US 10 miles west of Cody and the museum next to it. There were a lot of tourists in the city of Cody. Lotts of people were there for the 4th of July weekend and the big stampede and rodeo drive in the stadium. Beautifull weather and blue skies all over the place. While eating in the McDo's I met a WOII-veteran and gave me an extra drink for on the road. After shopping for the next two days and getting the waterbottles filled up (5 liters) I cycled out of the city towards Basin.
I didn't make it over there and had to stop in the wastelands around Burlington.
I was welcomed by Jerold and Jennifer after 0930 PM when it was already dark outside. They let me crash down for the night in the livingroom and Jerold gave me a real Scotch on the rocks that - togheter with a shower - cooled me down for the night.

The next morning they waved me out after a breakfast and I cycled towards Basin where I had lunch in the airconditioned grocerystore as the roads and asphalt was melting outside. In the afternoon I met some cyclist from the university of Illinois in the only bar in Manderson. They were doing an anually cycle trip to fund the fight against cancer. All over nice and young motivated people. 
You can find more on them over on

In the evening I made it into the town of Ten Sleep. There was a camping ground but it was fully loaded with people and RV's celebrating the 4th of July weekend, not quiete enough for me so cycle on. I found a nice quiete place behind the schoolbuilding of the town. Joe, who lived next to it allowed me to set up the tent over there. Heis girlfriend is a teatcher in the school, nice people ! Still the fireworks and music from the outside bars in town went on to 0130AM and boy it was loud ..
I filled the bottles on a tap that had natural spring water from a source under the town.
I prepared to go up to the 3 km high climbto Powder River Pass into the Bighorn Forest, lots of snow up there and still some 30 degrees  Celsius up there .. amazing ..

The descent down to Buffalo wasn't a real descent, it went up and down al the way but generally it went down but it didn't feel like that. Eventually I ended up in the town of Buffalo where I was looking for a place to crash down north of town where I saw a green area on the GPS. It brought me trough a street parallel to the main road where I saw a big colliniair 2/70 cm antenna and I stopped over there to check it out. In the backyard I saw a skyloop antenna and as I was ready to cycle on, nobody was home.. , the owner , Jim, W7TZZ and his xyl showed up in his car !
He allowed me to set the tent in the garden, charge some stuff and shower.In the morning his neighbour Bob W7BWY showed up and we all had a chat about radio's, Jim was Bob were into ARISS an races on VHF.
As it was the 4th of July I expected that every store would be closed but it wasn't. The cyclestore was open and I bought a new outer tyre for in the back, also a Schwalbe Marathon but now a plus version ! Another profile but it does the job very well. I did some cleaning on the bicycle and went on the road agein for some 5000 km more !

I stopped for the night in Kaycee public Parc just on the other side of the Chris Ledoux memorial statue, he was a famous horseback driver. Again I enjoyed a firworks for the 4th of July and a beer in the town's cafe and some HF radio. I was able to work the 7177 gang and ZL2GR on 20 meters ! great, New Zealand, togheter with some US states.

The next morning I cycled upto Wright into the crazy heat and showered next to a closed post-office in Linch. As the day progressed rain came in and BIG thunderclouds showed up in the eveningsky as I still had to cycle some 25 km into town over small hills.. I cycled my lungs out but arrived just in time into the southern stretches of the town to shelter for a BIG hailstorm nextto a golfarea. The winds shifted and the hail went almost horizontally hitting my helmet and body.. it really hurts auw !
The storm went away for a while but I saw it coming back and took my chance an rushed to the first house a saw into the dark around 2100. I knocked on the door and Roger and Janet let me sleep in their garage for the night and let me shower. They made me breakfast in the morning and showed ma the way to the grocery shop the noext morning. Nextto the shop was the High Plains Sentinel newspaper were I explained to Amy what I was doing for an articel in the next paper due in a week time. They work for the newspaper with only 2 people in a +-3000 people city. Time to say goodby to Roger and Janet and to their granddaughter that worked in the shop and son-in-law who were to get married in August.
I cycled on westly towards Newcastle close to the border with South Dakota, open coalfiels all over the place. I was helped on my way to the town some miles west of the town by a local rancher and as I looked around for a place to sleep and gave a shout on the local repeater system, Dell AD7KI and WG7Y Bob in Gillete came back and told me that Jim, KD7ZUP lived in the street next to the ATT shop on the main road where I cycled by a few minutes ago.
Very kind man and let me sleep in the garden and talked our way into the night. Jim was doing some repairs on the house and had his HF taken down for it, still he has some VHF up in the air.
I was woken up by 0830 by the heat of the sun and heard his grandchildren and his daughter arriving by 0900. She made me an omelette and coffee wiche I really enjoyed before taking of the the Black Mountains, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer and South Dakota !

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