Statistics Rocky Mountains:

Distance: 1477 km
Daily Average: 67 km
Days in the Area: 22
Days on the Bike: 17
Altitude covered: 12600 m
Daily Average: 740m
Nights in the Tents: 17
Nights in Houses: 5
Breakdowns: 2 flat Tires in the front
Daily costs: 11,55€

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I was curious as the couple up on the pass waved me to their car. They were excited and said „you can´t go down that road! A snowstorm rises and it´s dangerous!“ I heard that a lot in the states that something is dangerous… but turning around I saw the white wall coming up the road. I wasn´t sure at all but finally I decided to go through. Put every piece of clothes on that I had with me and cycled into the whiteout. After just a few miles I was through the worst part and landscape changed and was wonderful covered in a thin layer of snow. I reached Ennis in the Valley totally frozen but happy and pitched my tent next to the river. After a warm meal lying in my sleeping bag life was good again… Had some additional snowfall the next morning but after that it was good enough to start cycling up to Yellowstone Nationalpark!

A week before I left Missoula helter-skelter. Instead of taking a break I read the weather forecast and was shocked about the winter that was pushing in from the south. I don’t wanted to risk blocked pass roads so I left immediately. Two beautiful cycling days later I crossed over Chief Josephs Pass into the Big Hole. This very remote mountain valley is pure beauty. Lots of Antelopes around and the Mountain Ranges surrounding it are really beautiful. I had one of the most beautiful campsites of my trip through the USA up there.
Next day the weather catches me and I cycled down to Dillon in Rain and Snow. I found a place to stay at Tammy and Marks House and was very happy to warm up and have a chance to dry out things…

Yellowstone, the most popular of the American Nationalparks is really crowded. Even in October with low temperatures hordes of people are visiting. Up in the Mountains on more than 6000ft its cold in the night and even in daytime snow is falling. The most of the visitors are from Asia and so I felt like being in China again. I was an Attraction! Lots of people wanted to take a picture with me… Strange People.
The Park is well known for its wildlife, Bison, Bear, Wolf, Moose and Elk are found everywhere and partly just standing on the middle of the road. So always a reason to stop and so traffic breaks down once in a while. Outside of the Cities the park roads were the most populated on that trip until now…

Another Attraction up here are the hot Springs. The Park is a gigantic volcanic caldera that releases Steam and hot water all over. Colorful springs in fantastic colors, spitting Geysirs, boiling Mud holes… partly unreal!
In the East of the Park the „Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone“ is a Highlight. All shades of golden color and impressive Waterfalls make it a wonderful place. You can stay for weeks in the park, hike around or just enjoy the landscape. But I left it after 4 days. It was cold and my Sandals were definitely not the right shoes for the climate up here. I will get a pair of warm cycling shoes in Jackson so I went on to get there. Before I hit town I visited Grand Teton Nationalpark just South of Yellowstone. Wow! they have real Mountains. Vertical Rocks up to 13000ft and Icecovered peaks. Great place. Really want to come back in the summer to get up there. The road leads along the ridge so you can enjoy the view for two days.

My plan was to just stop over and pick up the package in Jackson, but the FedEx Office was already closed when I arrived. And it was Saturday and the reopen on Monday morning. Damn! Stuck in Jackson without a place to stay and the forecast talks about Snow to come. A guy I met on the road showed me a nice place to pitch my tent for the night and the next day I just cycled through town until the snow started falling. Then I visited some Bike Shops just to stay warm. I ran into Ross who invited me to his house were I stayed for the next two nights. Great! On the second day I got the opportunity to do some really cool Mountainbiking up in the Ski areas of Jackson. Very nice time in Town, thanks Ross! The town is changing, rich people make live complicated for the locals by raising the cost of living. Ross told me the billionaires pushing the millionaires out… Sad.

South of Jackson it was time for another adventure. I followed Greis River Road south and had a wonderful ride on a dirt road for three days. Except for a couple of hunters there was no one out there. When I reached the top a adventures rough trail lead me down into the valley again were I ran into a puddle of sticky mud that caught me for an hour… A little bit of that sticky stuff is still on my bike after a few thousand miles…

At the end of the valley the view opened up and showed me the dry hills of Idaho. I didn’t went there, I turned south again and entered Utah the next day. The last climb in the Rockies would be up to Mirror lake in the Unika Mountains. A Paradise up there east of Salt Lake City. The climb was long and when I reached the upper part temperature was already freezing. Up on 11000ft it was seriously cold. I wasn’t brave enough to stay up there so I rode down and that was steep and really chilly. Half the way down I found an RV with a campfire in front. I stopped and warmed my stiff fingers at the fire and after a few minutes I stopped shivering. The guys from the Rv didn’t show up and I was really curious what they thought about that cyclist that came out of the night sat at the fire and disappeared after a few minutes…

Next day I reached Park City a Wintersport town. Olympic Games 2002 in Salt Lake City brought some of the Alpine Disciples to town. I stayed two days here to relax and wash clothes. Wonderful Area around here. Dry but especially in the winter it worths a visit. The dry Air produces the legendary „champagne powder“ the probably best snow in the world. Powder to your chin… Not just a few days in the season like in Europe, its everyday… wow!

Salt Lake my destination was just a hayride away. I reached the City riding over the Wassatch Mountains into Emigration Canyon. The same path as the mormon settlers did back in time. The valley offers a excellent ride, beautiful landscape and a breathtaking view down to the misty Salt Lake Valley. When I reached the City I was again surprised how green it is. Its the first city that I visited twice on that trip. Nice to be back!

Taking a breath and a break and the I will cross the great Basin over to California. 2 Weeks on lonesome Highways through the Desert of Nevada. My next big Adventure but that’s a different story I will tell you next time.
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