Great Continental Divide Adventure Ride

Day 10 - Island Park, Idaho to Beartooth Pass and back

CDR day 10 mapAfter icing my right foot the previous night and popping a half dozen Ibruprofen, I felt good enough to ride for the day, assuming I didn't need to do a lot standing on the pegs.  injured footMy foot was fairly swollen but still fit in the boot okay.  Wearing my motorcycle boots seemed to help by giving more ankle support, as opposed to a more pronounced pain with my regular street shoes.  Despite what a doctor would probably say, going for a ride sure seemed like a better idea than sitting on my butt with an ice pack on my foot. My motto for these types of situations has always been that it is better to heal through moderate activity than simply resting, assuming the pain is not sharp.

Given this was reserved as a free day, with most planning some type excursion into Yellowstone.  Myself and three other riders (Randy on a V-Strom 650, Rich on a KTM 990, and Todd on a KTM 690) ended up staying on the pavement and riding through Yellowstone, up through the northeast corner past Cooke City, and up to Beartooth Pass over the border in Montana.  This pass is renowned for being one of the top most scenic motorcycle routes in the US.  Others from the larger group tended to do the full tourist loop through Yellowstone, stopping at all the big sights, and just gritting their teeth to deal with the crowds.

Traffic was extremely bad cutting through Yellowstone Park, taking about 2 hours to get to the other side past the Lamar Valley, and even then via some aggressive passing.  I also get hassled by a ranger at the entrance station when coming back into the park from the north.  Despite having an annual pass good for all the US National Parks, which also admits one other motorcycle rider accompanying you, the ranger wanted the other rider being admitted with me to also sign my pass.  I had never heard of this rule in all the other parks I have visited, and by the time he made the request, the other rider was already through.  After a stern lecture and claiming my friend made an illegal entry, he then allowed me through as other traffic started to back up.

But the pain of Yellowstone tourist traffic and Dudley Dolittle was offset by the scenery and fast pace up and over Beartooth Pass.  It is reminiscent of the Swiss Alps with numerous steep granite peaks with fast windy roads that seem to go on and on, with each rise being more magnificent than the last.  Despite rain, the Yellowstone traffic, a relatively long day of 300 miles, and a nagging ache in my right ankle from the previous day’s crash, the ride to Beartooth Pass was well worth it.

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