It was around 7:45pm when we rode into Buffalo SD so there was still some daylight to spare, and the signs on the highway said we'd find a Super 8 a couple miles up the road. We pulled into their parking lot and we were a little giddy at our luck, not running out of gas, missing the rain storms on the horizon, and finding a Super 8 and a Mobil station nearby. I heard nighthawks calling above us and looked up to see dozens of 'em buzzing around, getting moths and whatever else was flying in the evening sky. It was all good.
A routine check-in at the hotel, and we found out there was a laundromat next door, bonus! We got the laundry started and walked across the street and ordered some take-out. The food took awhile, but it was great and we weren't in a hurry. Got the laundry done and repacked, played some more cards and went to bed.
I was really looking forward to the next day's ride. We would be riding through the Big Horn Mountain range to Cody, and then north out of Cody, briefly into Montana and then southwest into Yellowstone. The ride didn't disappoint.
We got back on Rt.90 briefly to get up to the Ranchester exit, then turned on to Rt. 14 which starts out as a red tinted road heading into the mountains. The only bummer was that they had been repaving the road, so the really cool red tint was replaced by fresh black tarmac after a few miles. The climb up the eastern side was nice, lot's of big switchbacks with expansive views back east, then we got into the high mountains, passing a few snow fields and high meadows. The descent on the western side was really spectacular. Just one beautiful view after another in every direction, and the road was ours. The weather was perfect too, so we stopped frequently to take pictures.
We finally reached the Plateau between the Bighorn Range and the Rockies. Passing through Greybull I noticed an airport on the right with some old piston engined transport planes. I was about to keep on going when I saw a Canadian Air Force C119, and a few other planes that I couldn't quite put my finger on...I had to stop, turn around and take some pictures. I'm not sure Hannah was thrilled, but it needed to be done.
Rt. 14 brought us into Cody for lunch. There were signs advertising the weekly Saturday Night Rodeo. We asked our waitress about the Rodeo, and whether it was worth coming back out from Yellowstone for, and she said it would be at least 4 hours of driving, and she wasn't a big fan anyway, which made us feel a little better about missing it.
The Northeast entrance to Yellowstone is pretty spectacular. You actually enter the park in Montana, and the views on the way are just great. Once you're in the park you start seeing these huge meadows with mountains all around, rivers flowing through, just beautiful. Then you start seeing buffalo, or more properly, Bison (bison bison) and it's a little more incredible. We had a ways to go once we entered the park, our reservation was in the Canyon area so it was another hour to get there, and we rode through some minor showers. No big deal though, got to the Canyon, checked in and found our cabin. After a quick bite we hopped back on the bikes to see if we could find a nice sunset or something. It was too far to ride for a good view of the sunset, but we did see some Elk. 2 large mammals accounted for...
As I said, lots of mountain views;
10 points to the first person that can identify this 4 engine plane...