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Old 05-05-07, 07:22 AM   #1
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awesome story (imo) and yellowstone tour.

bear with me while i ramble and tell several stories at once.

i'm going to jackson hole in july. i want to tour yellowstone and the tetons. originally, i wanted to just take day treks. i've changed my mind and here's one of the reasons why;

the other day, i loaded up some tackle, food and a rod/reel into a backback and rode to a forest preserve to do some fishing. i ended up riding 55 miles when it was all said and done. 25 miles were into a 30mph wind. harsh! but still a great ride. something really cool and interesting happened during the ride, i'm on a boonie country road and the driver of a big suburban in the oncoming lane slows down and waves at me. well, i engage in vc when riding on these roads....pisses more people off, but its safer. i wrote the wave off as the driver being pissed that i'm on his road. i ride on. a minute later, i see this truck in my peripheral vision about to pass me. he slows down and is motioning to me. i'm thinking, here we go again, another farmer giving me what-fer for slowing him down on "his" road (ironic isn't it!). so he pulls over and says, "got a minute?" i reluctantly pull up next to him. he says, "i see a guy riding a bike in the middle of nowhere with a fishing pole strapped to his back and i'm thinking that's a pretty serious fisherman. i built this pond for family and friends to fish. and its the best fishing in the county. i stocked it with trout and caught a 27.5" largemouth last year." [at this point i'm thinking he's going to pull a gun and abduct me.] he hands me his business card and says, "if you're a catch and release fisherman, you're welcome to come fish here. just give me a call and let me know you're coming." [i looked at his card, it appears that he just started his own realty firm and i think this is one of the way he's networking for leads].

anyway back to the 2nd story....the trip was awesome. i didn't catch fish. the wind was a real beyotch. my blood sugar crashed at mile 45 and i returned home to major work drama. an awesome ride none-the-less.

now, back to my original story...this ride got me thinking...i don't want to do day treks into yellowstone. i want to leave the hotel in jackson hole and not come back for 4 or 5 days. i was thinking, if i do this, i should leave my roadie behind and bring my hybrid and kiddie trailer. but, heck, if i'm a minimalist, i can get way with my roadie and a backback. i'm starting to prepare for this. i swapped my 11-21 cassette for a 12-27 (huge difference. i love it.). i run a 53/39 crankset. i'm starting to look at maps to map out a ride-plan (south entrance to norris one day, norris to the streams/lake for fishing the next, back to the tetons the 3rd)

i have tons of questions, but for starters;

-can one camp anywhere in yellowstone (legally), or do you have to camp at one of the 12 camps? the money isn't an issue. however, i've read you have to register first thing in the morning to guarantee a spot. i want to just ride until its time to set up camp. then, pack up and move on.

-i'm trying to come up with a "bare-essentials" equipment list (to fit into a backpack and under saddle wedge. some things are intuitive. others, i'm looking for suggestions. any "unique" or especially helpful items i should bring for a rugged, camping tour?

-any recommendation for water purifiers? just get an in-bottle system or go with the tabs/chemicals?

-i'm thinking of bringing my mp3 player to keep an audio diary of the trip. any recommendations for a quality, compact digital camera with video capabilities? my wife's sony 707 just isn't going to cut it.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:20 AM   #2
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You can't camp just anywhere in Yellowstone, like all national parks they require you to camp at a designated site. This is a good idea there anyway, as it is big-time bear country, and you will want secure food storage (bear-proof lockers in the campsites). If you are going in the high season (yeah, July) campsites will fill up. At least one campground in Yellowstone has a hiker/biker site. Also, don't be afraid to ask the rangers for help, if you are stuck w/o a campsite, sometimes they will squeeze you in (be nice!!!!). And finally, you can always go ride around the campground and try to make friends - ask someone in an RV if you can pitch your tent in their tent pad, they aren't using it anyway. Or look for bikes.

Don't ride yellowstone during the July 4th holiday. Too many rental RV's. Way too busy & dangerous.

RE: water - yellowstone is civilization, you will find a faucet. Bring iodine tablets if you are really concerned.

Lastly, you will have a lot more fun if you invest in a lightweight rack and panniers, riding with a back pack sucks. Yellowstone in July requires real rain & coldweather gear. I got snowed on in August.

Try to make it down the Tetons, too. Only 1 day ride south. Jenny Lake has a lovely hiker-biker site. Tetons are less crowded than yellowstone, and are amazing on a grand scale.

Have a great trip!
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