Monday - Yellow(stone) Fever (434 Miles)
We started this day by stopping at different spot for breakfast.  It seemed to be the spot for locals and was on Main Street across from Lander Bar.  We began by heading northwest out of town on US287 also known as the Chief Washakie Trail.  The trail begins at Fort Washakie where there was once a U.S. military establishment frequented by members of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, Fort Washakie is now the headquarters of the tribe's government and the Bureau of Indians Affairs agency. The 1.7+ million-acre Reservation is home to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes and was established in 1864 through the Bridger-Teton Treaty with the U.S. government.  The terrain is wide open and our speed was set appropriately.  The road follows the Wind River and about 20 miles in we came upon Crowheart Butte (KMZ).  This was the site of many Indian wars between the Crow and the Shoshone.  We knew we were coming back the same and made a mental note to stop and take pictures on the return trip.  In about another 20 miles we came into the town of Dubois.  This was a nice little town with plenty nice looking motels and lies along the banks of the Wind River.  Don't pronounce the town's name in typical French dialect or the townies will know you are a tourist, it is pronounced "Dew-Boys".  Beyond Dubois we came upon Union Pass.  The pass was a major mountain crossing during the trek west by thousands of settlers who used the Oregon Trail to get to Utah, California and the Oregon Territory. This is the land which John Coulter discovered in 1807. This mountain man, explorer and trapper is said to be the first white man to explore what is now Wyoming.  He passed through the Dubois area on a trip to Jackson Hole. At the summit of Union Pass, south of US287, is a monument marking the role of this road and Union Pass in the settling of the West. The scenery is spectacular, and we stopped at the marking for some pictures (KMZ).  After Union Pass, US287 is known as both Big Horn Sheep Trail and the Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway.  The road follows a broad valley cut by the Wind River as we approached the Continental Divide.  North of Dubois we crossed from the Shoshone National  Forest to the Bridger-Teton Nation Forest.  As we climbed up toward Togwotee Pass from the broad Wind River valley the road began to narrow.  A road off to the right signaled we were near Brooks Lake.  This lake is surrounded by Pinnacle Buttes and Breccia Cliffs towering 11,000 feet above the lake.  Once again we knew we would be coming back this way so we passed by this time enjoying the uncrowded road zooming around the nice easy sweepers at a good clip.  Once over the 9658 foot Togwotee Pass we were in the heart of Teton terriotry.  We spotted a rest area above the road to the right that offered a good view of the Tetons off in the distance so we stopped for some pictures (KMZ).  Continuing north on US287 we came into Moran Junction (KMZ) where we entered Teton National Park and the traffic dramatically increased.  We paid our fee to enter the park and after about 20 miles of beautiful scenery looking at the Tetons we were in Yellowstone.  It was our third trip into the park but still as breathtaking as ever.  We stopped in Lewis Canyon (KMZ), and along Yellowstone Lake's West Thumb (KMZ) before gassing up at the Fishing Bridge.  Exiting the park we embarked on the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway.  The road starts by traveling from the from the vast Yellowstone plateau over 8,530 foot Slyvan Pass and then following the Middle Creek downstream to Pahaska Tepee.  A canyon envelopes the road where to the north lies the North Absaroka Wilderness and to the south lies the 704,529-acre Washakie Wilderness.  The road then follows the North Fork of the Shoshone River through a wide canyon carved by the river.  We stopped along the river where the Gunbarrel and Mesa creeks flow into the river (KMZ).  The day had grown hot so we waded into the river to cool off a bit.  Continuing east on U.S. 14 we stopped briefly along side the Buffalo Bill Reservoir (KMZ).  Back on the road heading east the Shoshone canyon is so narrow tunnels had to be built to allow for the road.  Three tunnels (KMZ) were constructed around 1910 to allow road traffic.  Once through the tunnels the BBR dam came into view.   Shortly after we were in Cody.  We rode through town and proceeded on W120 south.  The road from Cody down to the town of Meeteetse was uneventful, the road and landscape was full of oil wells and development.  Meeteetse was a nice little town without much development.  Further south we were back into Thermopolis.  Back down W789 and once again into the Wind River Canyon we stopped at a new spot along the bank of the Wind River.  It was getting late so we headed back into town around the Boysen Reservoir and continuing on W789 back to Lander.  We washed our bikes again and hung around the motel.
Monday - Yellow(stone) Fever