We hit I-90 and continued on our way. We wanted to be sure that we got into Yellowstone early enough to see Old Faithful. Aside from stopping for fuel, we didn’t do much site seeing between the campground and West Yellowstone. Once we got into town, we had plenty of time to kill before Yellowstone National Park opened so we decided to do what all normal people do…buy some over priced crap that we didn’t really need!
We walked through some of the stores and enjoyed the quiet of the town. Once we had seen enough, we jumped back on the bikes and headed to the National Park.
Yellowstone National Park
We still arrived to the park early and had some sitting to do outside the gate while we waited for them to open up. My son didn’t seem to mind as there was a bus full of tourist that couldn’t get enough pictures of him. They laughed and flirted for 15 minutes before we got through the gate. Once inside of the park, we rode at a slow pace so that we could take in all of the beauty of this incredible area. You will have to watch for Bison and other wild animals that will just stroll out in front of you. At one point we were left sitting still for minutes while an entire Bison herd moved across the roadway.
We finally arrived at Old Faithful, parked the bikes and began to walk around the gift shop while waiting for the next “scheduled” show. Once the time arrived, it did not disappoint. Just as the name suggests, it faithfully erupted as predicted. This was my sons first visit to Yellowstone and he was pretty impressed by the display of power that the geyser was showing.
Once the show was over, we figured we had better get back on the road or we would fall way behind schedule. Once back in the parking lot, we climbed onto our bikes and fired them up. Fletcher was looking really cool as the bus load of tourists that he had been flirting with earlier at the gate was in the same parking area as we were. We stood our bikes up and began to ride out…that’s when Fletcher dropped his motorcycle in the middle of the parking lot. You see, he had locked his handlebars prior to walking out to watch Old Faithful and forgotten to unlock them when we returned. He didn’t notice this until he was moving and tried to straighten them out…which was to late! He wasn’t feeling so cool after that…I wonder why…
Once he got back up, dusted off his pants, and set his pride aside; He was okay and so was his motorcycle.
Speeding through Wyoming
Once we were out of the park we knew we had to make up some time in order to get into Kansas as we had planned. While the scenery is beautiful, you can only stare at wide open fields for so long before you get bored with it. We continued through the afternoon and into the night. As we were headed to Laramie to catch a flea bag motel for the night, we found that about 30 miles of highway 287 had been reduced to dirt so that they could repave. This inevitably slowed us down much more than planned.
We finally made it to Laramie and found a $40 a night motel. Not necessarily the kind of place that you want to sleep on the sheets, but it was a room with heat and a shower that we could use in the morning. We decided to sleep in our sleeping bags rather than laying on the sheets since God only knew what was on them. We woke up early, feeling somewhat refreshed and ready to ride!
We were both somewhat hungry so we stopped at the local McDonald’s to grab some breakfast before we hit the highway. While we were eating I mentioned that we had not seen any Wyoming State Patrol so we don’t know what they drive and should be careful not to get stopped. With that, we finished breakfast and jumped on the interstate.
As we were buzzing down the long, straight road we sometimes lose track of the speed that we are traveling at. Just as we crested a small hill I could see a car parked in the median, i signaled to Fletcher that I thought i saw a cop and we both let go of our throttles and began deceleration. As we passed him I looked down at my speedometer for the first time, 95 MPH, I knew we were in trouble this time. Sure enough, he pulled out behind us as we passed and hit the lights.
As he approached us to get our information I began to wonder if Fletch had purchased insurance like I told him to. You see, in Washington we are not required to carry insurance on motorcycles, but in most other states you are. I have always kept full coverage on my bike so I grab my license, registration, and insurance and handed it to the officer when he got up to me. He asked Fletcher for his and Fletch gave him his license and registration but had misplaced his insurance card.
The trooper told him to find it as he went back and ran my information. While we were waiting for him to come back up to us, Fletcher had completely unpacked his bike and was digging through each and every pocket desperately trying to find his insurance card. The Officer approached us and when Fletch told him that he could not find it, his response was a simple “Well, I guess your going to jail”. My heart just dropped! What are we going to do? We are 1300 miles from home and my son is about to go to jail for reckless driving. After the longest 30 seconds of our lives, the Officer smiled and said “just kidding”. I wish I had a camera out to capture the look on my sons face. He wrote us a WARNING and told us to slow it down. We rode the rest of the way out of Wyoming at exactly the 75 MPH speed limit.
Into Kansas we go
We continued east on the I 80 out of Wyoming and into Nebraska. Just before crossing the border of Nebraska we had to stop and put our helmets back on…they are the only State in the Midwest that requires you to wear a helmet. A few miles outside of Kearney, we grab highway 183 and head down into Kansas. We promptly p
op the helmets back off, and head into Stockton to see my family and be sure that the brother-in-laws are ready to ride historic route 66.
Until next time, keep the shiny side up.