Day Three – Buffalo WY to Bozeman MT
Miles: 414
Elapsed Time: 12:19

We sat down to breakfast at a little after 7:00 in downtown at the Busy Bee Cafe. The food was ok but the service was a little slow as it was busy especially for a Wednesday morning. We set out on I-90 west although it was really going north. I had routed us off the interstate running parallel to it through the towns of Banner and Story, but there was a lot of construction and although there a couple of stops of less than five minutes it became annoying rather quickly, and I wished we had just stayed on the interstate. We jumped back on the interstate at Sheridan and exited at Ranchester as we began our trek up US14 into the Big Horn Mountains. The route from Dayton over to the West end of the range before going down to Lovell is one of my favorite rides anywhere. We stopped a little short on the way up but realized our mistake and made a quick second stop and the prime overlook to take a few pics. We rode over to the West side and made another stop before our descent into Lovell where we gassed up.

US310 from Lovell to just south of Bridger is fairly straight and very desolate so we were hitting some triple digits before turning onto WY72 and we continued at a good clip until we reached Red Lodge. We stopped at Red Lodge Ales for lunch and a cold one and we were not disappointed by either. Pulling out of Red Lodge we were at an elevation of 5500ft, and in 28 miles we had climbed 5300ft. In Red Lodge the weather was very warm but as we reached the summit of over 10kft it had gotten pretty cold. This was my first ride over Beartooth Pass riding east to west, and I think this is preferable but both directions are so great I don't think it really matters. This is one of the premier motorcycles roads in the country and we enjoyed every minute of it. There are a number of formal overlooks available and we stopped at one of them along with another where we just pulled off the side of the road and parked in the snow. Any time in June at those elevations you can expect to see some snow near the roadside. Even coming down the backside, the road and scenery were fantastic and I couldn't decide if I wanted to ride hard and focus or sit back and enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace. I mostly decided the former.

Anyway before long we were in Yellowstone, and we stopped just
inside the park at Warm Creek Picnic Area on the Soda Bluff Creek. The picnic area sits right on the MT-WY border and was a nice quite and shady spot to take a break and remove some layers. We had gone from riding with snow on the edge of the road to in the park where temps were higher and the pace was much slower. After the picnic area we stopped to overlook the Yellowstone River from atop the Yellowstone Canyon. It's a nice view. Once in the park we really had to tone down the speed so we were in full tourist mode until we reached Gardiner, however even in the park from Monmouth to Gardiner running along the Gardiner River is a really nice road provided you don't get stuck behind a bus and we did not. It was 17:30 by the time we hit Gardiner and we still had some riding to do. We went non-stop to Bozeman where we checked in and prepared to hit the town. Since the Hampton was a bit far from the downtown brewery district we Ubered to Bozeman Brewing Co which we discovered was closed, we also learned 406 Brewing and White Dog were also closed. Our Uber driver told us about Montana Ale Works and it was a great suggestion. Good beer, and excellent chicken wings. After a few there we walked over to the Bozeman Taproom & Fill Station. Another great spot; we stayed for two and Ubered back to the hotel. Only the third day but how could it get any better than this?