Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 6 - Back to Beauty

Red Lodge, MT to Cody, WY -  113 Miles
September 11, 2013
Forced myself to stay in bed until 9:00am this morning.  No reason to be out there.  The forecast for Red Lodge this morning was 45° F.  I can stand that, but don't have to.  Plus, where I'm going it would be closer to 22° F.  So I stayed in bed and had a leisurely breakfast, pulling out for the Beartooth on Hwy 212 about 10:15am.

Scene leaving town.  This area has not been immune to forest fires either.

But it gets better

And better
Mr. Garmin's prediction of the future
Stopped for a couple of pics
 Unbelievable beauty
 Kilroy Was Here

From this point it's only 2,000 more feet up before you start the big down.  I missed the scenic stop to see Beartooth mountain, so if any wish to see what it's like you can see it here: Beartooth Ride 2007

About 14 miles from my planned turn onto Chief Joseph Highway (Hwy 296) I was greeted with the below:

They were repaving the highway and had one-way traffic.  The sign raised my heartbeat a little: "Gravel, drive carefully."  Well,...yeah...and duh.  The hardest thing about this ride was the wait.  We sat there for over 45 minutes before getting the "leader" truck to take us through.  Turned out to be a very short span of gravel, beaten into smooth ruts, so no trouble.  

The road follows the path of Chief Joseph and his Nez Perce tribe through this area in their  1,170 mile fighting retreat from U.S. forces.  I knew they had traversed Yellowstone, but did not know until seeing a PBS special on National Parks that some hot heads from the tribe actually attacked and killed some vacationers in the park in 1877.  (Yellowstone N.P. came into existence in 1872)
Dead Indian Hill
The Nez Perce had almost pulled off their plan to evade U.S. forces and join Sitting Bull in Canada.  This was their last major natural obstruction before entering the high plains with a straight shot north to Canada.  They rushed to get over this blockage hoping the troops would have a difficult time of it.  There was one tribe member too wounded to make it up the steep slopes so they were forced to leave him, wounded, at the bottom of the hill.  When the troops came through they kill him on sight.  Hence the name.

A short time later I turned right on Hwy 120 and pulled into Cody, WY about 2:30pm.  

I have never entered Yellowstone from the East Entry (from Cody).   I decided to stay here in Cody tonight in order to give myself plenty of time  for this entry into the park.  Had I have gone in this afternoon I would have been rushed to get out of there and through Grand Teton with much light left.


  1. Any sign of The Hole In The Heaf gang???

  2. I thought about lookin' 'em up, but didn't. Should have, but it wouldn't be the same without you to kick around.