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 !

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bozeman - Yellowstone

On Friday I cycled to Bozeman and arrived there in the late afternoon. The weather was great, as was the refreshing shower at Jerry's place. His XYL Kathy, was also a ham. By early evening and after getting stuff ready for the fieldday Jerry and I drove towards the fieldday QTH in Belgrade, just west of Bozeman. The W7ED fieldday-station was going to be setup in the backyard of Dale, W7NAV. Lots of place over here and big trees on the edge of the premise. Rich, KF7LVE , Don KC7EWZ , Don N7FLT and were already on the site. The caravan aka fieldday-shack was already in place and the mast for the beam had to be crancked up. There was also a second station for 20 and 40. Inverted V's and dipoles were used on the lower bands. We installed the camper and made a BBQ for the two of us that evening and sat under the shelter that Rich had already set up. Jerry made some nice breakfast the next morning before some 10 of us cranked up the tower and got the station up and running. Don, or Mr. Wilson, proposed me to do some needed repairs on my coax in his place in Bozeman. He learned me how to wrap up wires without tangling them up. I did some foxhunting on 2 mtr. and found, eventually with some help and patience, 5 foxes in the nearby woods. By the evening some 30 people showed up for the big club BBQ. Much from everything and all way too good. Ate a bit from everything and some kg's of meat and pasta brought my fatlayer back into business. During the BBQ I met many other HAM's from the club that showed up with xyl or children. One of them, and certainly not the least is Robert, W7LR, the ON-suffix UN and WW were very well known by him. You should QRZ him..

I manned the station with Don/FLT during the night until 0430. I slept some 3 hours before another one of Jerry's nice breakfasts. We ended by noon with some 800 qso's in total. I heard almost exclusively US and Canadian stations on 80, 40 and 20. By mistake I heard and LA and OM station on 17..

The weather continued to be perfect. We broke the station down and it was time to say goodbye to the bunch of HAM's of Bozeman and around. I'll always have a very nice memory on this fieldday over here.

Jerry and I drove back to his QTH were we tried to find out what had to be the best way to enter Yellowstone. It was some 120 km. until the west entrance. The best option was to take the , on Monday very busy and narrow road 91 that lead into the Parc. A bus brought me halfway and from here I cycled the remaining part of Monday to the entrance. Jerry brought me with his car very early in the morning to one of the stops just outside the city after being his guest again over at his house and heaving a pancake breakfast and a BBQ , again ;-) , on sundayevening.

The campsites on the southern loop of Yellowstone are quite bicycle friendly, 6 dollars for 1 night and free coffee in the morning made by the local rangers. The entrance for a bicycler in the Parc was 12 dollar for a 1 week period ! The roads were very narrow and again, many big RV's, cars, 4by4s, campers and noisy moto's on the road. I saw many bison, elk, deer and other wildlife. No bears dough over here, but, so goes the story, they are definitely here. I visited the tourist mekka of the Parc, Old Faithfull, and many other geisers, pottholes with mudd or steam and also the Yellowstone canyon. I took my time to visit them. Almost I got driven of the road by a rental RV that was driving stupidly.. I found out that shouting out dirty language isn't so difficult.. I met Bojan, a friendly and wise Slovenian bicyclist. I also met Paul from Australia and Jack from Holland the next night on the camping. There were almost 12 bicyclers on the bike and hike place. There is always place for bicyclers here on the camping ! Good to know.

It was interesting to find out that my gasleaks were smelling like sulfer after two days :-) .

I was radioactive every evening and morning on 40 and one time on 20. Conditions were so and so. Again, many people were qrv on 7177. I cycled out of Yellowstone on Friday and left the 2000+ mtr. high caldera behind me after doing some nice climbing to 2760 meter ASL. I slept again on a cheap campplace with self registration fee just outside the Parc.

Over here I met Bob and Sue from Salt Lake who were on a small trip. I headed out for Cody,Wyoming the next day and the kilometercounter showed 4600 km..

ps: click in the right column on June for more pics for the fieldday and Yellowstone or go to