Sunday, June 17, 2012

From the dash

Yesterday I drove to West Yellowstone to rendezvous with Mom and Grandma and to pick up Sydney and Tara after a week at summer camp.  On the way, I was surprise to see how many bikes you can really haul with one vehicle.  At first, I was in awe seeing this minivan hauling what looked like seven bicycles...

Until I saw this van.  Your guess is as good as mine as to how many bikes were up there but I'd have to guess it's over a dozen.  I wonder if the trailer is full of bikes too. 
It was a beautiful day for riding and I saw lots of people out.  Some, I'm sure were doing the century route from Billings to Columbus and back.  Others were touring, on there way to Yellowstone.  There were many floating the Gallatin River on raft and kayak.  And of course, I was stuck in the car...

Evie and Me

With Sarah working night shifts and Sydney and Tara off at summer camp with Grandma, it was just Evie and me for part of the week.  Evie wanted to go for a bike ride Friday night so I loaded her up in the trailer and we took off.  Nothing like pulling a 50 pound parachute in the 20 mile and hour winds.  At first I thought about going to Pictograph Caves but the thought of pulling that trailer up the hills in the wind was too daunting and most of my other usual rides wouldn't be very trailer friendly so I stuck to the trails and decided to do the newly paved Black Otter Trail.  Yes, its still a climb but nothing like the backside of Colburn Road coming back from Pictograph Caves.  Plus I thought this ride might be more interesting for Evie with four tunnels and several bridges.  I tried to get Evie to make noise in the tunnels.  Every once in awhile I'd hear a mute wolf's howl.  It was pretty cute.  Although I did embarrass myself making noises along with her only to get strange looks from others in the tunnel.

As I mashed the pedals to climb the hills, I told Evie to repeat, "Faster Daddy!  Faster!"  And she whooped and hollered on the descents, until she fell asleep.  She enjoyed seeing the planes take off overhead at the airport and racing the trains.  It was a fun afternoon even though it was a lot of work.

We even got a pleasant surprise on top of the rims.  The Yucca were in full bloom, and for this child of the desert, those muted flowers were beautiful.  I have to admit, I'd seen these tiny yucca plants for years but didn't realize what they actually were until they bloomed.  The yucca of the Mojave sometimes grow to over six feet tall with the flower stem rising far above that.  After having been removed from the Mojave for almost twenty years, these little dwarfed yucca (soapweed yucca) were a welcome site.  I wonder if I can get a few for my yard.

In all, Evie and I logged in 18 miles and probably climbed about 400 feet.  It was a good little ride for a Friday afternoon, especially since I had to peel myself off the coach after a day's work.

She tried so hard to stay awake
Yucca plant in bloom

View over the rims

View of the city below

View to the East

Some more yucca