Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 30 Madison Valley (Almost to West Yellowstone)

Gregory's Grass Art for Mom

Cell Tower Tree

Map of Earthquake Lake and Yellowstone National Park

Earthquake Lake

Date: Aug. 18, 2009

From: West Fork Camp (5.8 miles east of Jct. 287 and 87) on the Madison River

To: Baker’s Hole Campground (just 3 miles from West Yellowstone)

Route: Hwy. 287 S.


Miles: 37 miles

Top Speed: 47.7 mph

Weather: Hot

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates

We didn’t get on the road until after 1:30 P.M. today and it put us in to camp way too late for my tastes. We promised ourselves we would stop doing this but sometimes it is difficult to stick to an early morning plan when you get to visiting with nice people and we meet people all day long who are interested in talking to us about our journey.

This morning we were at the office at 7:55 A.M. for hot coffee and home-baked cinnamon rolls following a tip from “the locals”. They were delicious and we visited with the owner Mark and manager (?) Chuck for a couple of hours. Mike finally headed off to pack and I took advantage of the WiFi connection to update the blog.

We had a lengthy stop at the Earthquake Lake Visitor’s Center where 50 years ago (August 17, 1959) a major earthquake killed 28 vacationing campers at the height of the season and changed the landscape of the area drastically. If I am remembering correctly they said it was the fourth largest earthquake in U.S. history to date.

It was a hot afternoon and the grasshoppers buzzed around snapping their wings incessantly. I mean it is loud! There are all sorts of interesting sounds to listen to as we pedal along. Sometimes it is cicadas and sometimes crickets and there are always melodic birds singing to us throughout the day. We have seen several osprey (also know as the fish hawk) and sometimes they are clutching a fish in their talons. I read somewhere that their numbers have increased dramatically since the power companies have started erecting poles with platforms for their nesting sites. They truly are beautiful birds.

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