Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 8 – Sheridan to Jackson: Big Horn National Forest, Chief Joseph, Yellowstone and Sushi

Today is back to riding the great back roads.

Leaving Sheridan I had about a short leg on I-90 and then turned off onto U.S. 14 leading into Big Horn National Forest. There is about a 4500 foot elevation change and the temperature went from mid the 70’s to 49 degrees. The summit is just shy of 8,000 feet. The road going up is fast with big sweeping turns and plenty of places to pass slow traffic.

At about the summit I could see the rain I was heading into and stopped to dress warmer and get water proof. Sure enough the rain came, but it didn’t last too long.

The drop down from the summit was a little different. The road narrows and becomes real twisty and steep – great fun. There was a fair number of RVs, but plenty of passing opportunities so I didn’t get slowed up to speak of.

Finally at the bottom U.S. 14 comes into Graybull, WY and it goes to flat and straight on to Cody, WY.

From Cody I head to Yellowstone on WY 120 and turn off on Crandall Road (WY 296) or the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. This is a spectacular road with very fast sweepers, as well as plenty of 20 MPH switch backs. Stopped for gas on 296 and had a couple more nice conversations with local riders about what to expect on the trip through Yellowstone.

The clouds and weather are on a constant change making it awfully pretty. However, I have to stop several times to switch from being water proof to pealing off layers.

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway connects with WY 212 to lead into the Northeast entrance to Yellowstone. Northeast Entrance Road goes through Lamar Valley where there are lots of Buffalo.

Next it’s onto Grand Loop Road going South. This road follows Yellowstone River and takes you past Yellowstone Lake. Grand Loop becomes U.S. 191. Somewhere after Yellowstone Lake I passed the Continental Divide.

U.S. 191 leads into Grand Teton National Park and then into Jackson, WY. The Tetons are truly amazing to see. It was a gray afternoon with rain on and off, but that made them even more majestic in some ways.

I arrived in Jackson about 7:00 PM and checked into the Wort Hotel. A very cool old Western Hotel.

After cleaning up I went out for a delicious Sushi Dinner – yes you can get world class Sushi in Jackson, WY.

After that I figured tomorrow will be a down day to rest and catch up on this blog, plus see some old ski friends who live in Jackson.

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