Day Two- Yellowtail Dam

We started out the day thinking we were about to embark on the signature day of trip, but it was not to be.  We headed back into Dayton turned right on WY343, left on WY 345, and left on Pass Creek Road, basically retracing our steps from the day before.  We rode once again past Kerns Wildlife Area, and again looked for that trail headed up into the mountains and still did not see it, but we continued on.  Pass Creek Road basically dead ends at WY 463 and the Little Horn Trail.  It's not well marked but you basically continue straight ahead where all of these roads intersect.  Now we were on WY463 and soon passed Marble Quarry Road off to our left.  We would be coming back this way on Monday.  I noticed the road and made a mental note of it.  WY463 continues about 5 miles before crossing over a creek coming off the mountains.  We stopped to look at the map and continued climbing up a small mesa and looking for a trail off to the left.  We stayed on the main trail not seeing anything of significance, but mistakenly diverted onto Soup Creek Road without realizing it.  We rode for about 10 miles along the base of red cliffs rising about 600 feet above us.  I knew there shouldn't be ridges on our right and that we should be riding on cliffs with a canyon below us to our left.  To make matters worse the riding conditions were fairly difficult.  The bright red dirt was practically like sand and any little slip and the front wheel would wash out.  On top of the road conditions there were dozens of cattle roaming the area and we would frequently have to slow way down to make certain they would get out of the way.  So, we stopped, re-grouped and decided to go back.  We went back to the creek get our bearings and decided the little trail we saw on top of the mesa was the right one.  The trail was indeed the right one, and we quickly realized by the topography were going the right way.  Now we were running on top of the ridge and viewing the beautiful canyon down below.  The rocks in this are were very colorful and we stopped for some pictures.  Feeling pretty good, and riding a moderately difficult trail we were in our element.  After about 7 miles we came to a screeching halt.  We came to a gate, and knew we needed to go through.  There had been other gates we went through, so we opened this one and continued on.  It was not as easy as the others, which probably registered in the back of our minds but we continued on.  After a very short time we came up to a ranger station in the distance but didn't need to pass by it, so we just continued on.  We stopped along some even more significant cliffs to grab some pictures and never saw a sole.  Shortly there after we began riding past campers and some pick-ups and SUVs on the road and noticed they weren't terribly friendly as we waved upon passing.  We thought we were on the right road looking for a slight jog to the left but never saw it.  As we continued the traffic picked up a little, but I thought, well it's Saturday and people are out.  Then a Pick-Up Truck beeped at us in an unfriendly way and the next car held out their hand.  Again innocently continuing we figured we were once again going in the wrong direction.  We knew what coordinates we wanted and were going too far east.  We turned around again, and to our horror we saw a big sign we didn't notice going the opposite way that stated this was Crow Indian Reservation land and to stay off (violators would be prosecuted).  Uh-oh!  We turned back the way we had been going and high-tailed it out of there hoping at some point soon we would no longer be on the reservation.  We were off my maps, but Steve's GPS guided us back to WY 463 where we were to able to find the normal surface roads back to Ranchester.  Since we now had extra time on our hands we rode back down to the Tongue River Canyon and explored that more thoroughly.  On our way back Steve stopped at the Dayton Cabin again and got half our deposit back.  Several lessons were learned on this day.