In Which We Ride... A Scot and South African go Long Haul

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SuperSonicRocketship, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. SuperSonicRocketship

    SuperSonicRocketship 50 Nations and Counting

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Oddometer:
    714
    Location:
    Dundee, Scotland
    Day 535

    Yellowstone.

    A couple of months ago I found myself playing a strange version of Monopoly where the properties had been swapped out for US National parks. I remember upon first seeing the box wondering which park would be deemed important enough to sit in the 'Mayfair' location.

    As if there were any doubt - of course it was Yellowstone.

    Yellowstone has been on my bucket list for a very long time. We camped up the day prior on the banks of the Wind River just on the outskirts of a classic little back-country town called Dubois. We got talking to the camp host who told us that we had timed our visit just perfectly. The park had just opened its doors, and just 3 days previously there had been 5 inches of snow blanketing the whole roadway.

    Immediately before Yellowstone lies the Teton National Park, quite a wonder in its own right. It's small in area but packs some really special views. Especially the scenic peaks of the Rockies as they are reflected into to sheet glass that is Jackson lake. But as nice as it may be, Teton truly lives in the shadow of its sibling.

    Yellowstone has some extremely unique physical properties that make it so special. I'm not sure of the exact geological process, but the mountains and forests are pockmarked with hundreds of pores and scars that spew boiling sulphuric and acidic water out into the wilderness. Some of them as small as a dinner plate simmering gently. Others as large as a jacuzzi, that hiss and squeel, periodically spewing a hundred gallon jet of superheated water into the air. We passed one series of vents that were gushing diagonally out of a steep river bank, kicking up a cloud of steam as the sizzling run off met the frozen meltwater below.

    The whole region is completely bipolar, tripolar even. The high passes are completely frozen, 6 foot snowdrifts line the roadsides. Yellowstone Lake capped with a foot of ice. Yet, the valleys are lush green grasslands and packed with life. Even the perimeter of the geysers and vents are teaming with algae and colourful swirls of bacteria.

    I saw my first Bald Eagle in Yellowstone, then two more within 15 minutes. Within three hours we had seen a pack of wolves, a herd of bison, some deer, and fresh bear prints in the snow - but still no live sighting of a bear in North America as of yet.

    We spent 10 hours straight in the park, and in fact only left because every available camp spot was full. We continued to the parks North exit which took us to the doorstep of state number 9; Montana.

    We camped up in a spot simply called the canyon campground, which had at least 20 posters up warning about bears strolling into camp.

    "Great, we spend all day in the bear capital of America looking for one and find nothing, and just happen to camp right on their dinner table." - Kyla says, allowing her ever present fear of of imminent bear attacks to show through.

    It's certainly not an irrational fear though.

    "I'm sure we'll be fine." - I try to assure her.

    I must admit, the sheer number of bear posters did have me on edge a bit. There's no longer any doubt; From here on out, we're deep in bear country.

    Love,
    Brucie

    34439606_979400295554316_1148555000335564800_o.jpg 34468359_979400332220979_3415050431171133440_o.jpg 34640514_979400392220973_3106708454044073984_o.jpg 34455646_979400438887635_1446911805564649472_o.jpg
    ACR, juno, SLUGGO and 3 others like this.
  2. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,800
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Great stuff Guy's. Could a makeshift forward foot peg (highway bar) help Kyla on the long stretches?
  3. LightningBoy

    LightningBoy Waiting at the Crossroads

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Sussex, UK
    Not heard from you guys for a while........ Hope all is good?
    Maybe you're having too much fun to bother posting an update on here :-)
  4. BillUA

    BillUA Las Vegas, NV

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    759
    Location:
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Any updates guys? Hope you are Ok
  5. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,800
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Looks like they entered Alberta re FB.
    Welcome to Canada, eh!
  6. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    22,026
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Welcome to magnificent Alberta! :clap
  7. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Safety Second!

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Bellevue
    This has been literally the best ride report in the history of ride reports. I get to July 2018 only to find out that my favorite show has been apparently cancelled.
    steved57 and ACR like this.
  8. JGT

    JGT Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
  9. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,720
    Location:
    Arkansas near Oklahoma
    gpfan likes this.
  10. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Safety Second!

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Bellevue
    Yea don't do FB. Damn I would like to read the rest of the trip.

    Any idea why they abruptly stopped here?
  11. JGT

    JGT Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I don't do FB either. You can make an "empty" account just to read things you want to see. Don't need to friend anyone.

    But in short, Kyla's knee injury put an end to the trip. Apparently they did return to do some car travel in a later year.
    GR8ADV likes this.
  12. steved57

    steved57 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,181
    Location:
    East Texas
    While a fantastic trip and ride report/ pics that I and as it appears many others enjoyed ( with many complimentary comments) I'm so surprised that it just shut off - would liked to have seen some closing posts but hate the trip ended like this for them but sure hope they are doing well
  13. RBoffroad

    RBoffroad Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Vancouver
    From Facebook Nov 2018

    Before leaving for the trip, some 31 months ago, I had catalogued and formed a contingency for every possible scenario I could imagine... Except one.
    I gravely underestimated how deeply and permanently life on the road would change me. Every aspect of my being has perhaps changed; My priorities, my hobbies, my needs, my politics, my diet, my sense of satisfaction... everything has all been altered at an elementary level.
    It's been a few months since we returned to Scotland for an interim break from the road. Kyla's knee was in somewhat worse shape than we had first hoped. 3 MRIs and 4 specialists later revealed some fragmentation to the meniscus and tears to the MCL that doctors in both Russia and the USA had missed.
    It has taken some 13 weeks of conversations with the knee specialist before he gave a final judgement that surgery, even keyhole, would carry more risk than a natural healing process. The prescription was simple; rest, time away from outlandish adventure, and about 14-20 weeks of wearing a restrictive knee brace.
    "Ligaments are frustratingly slow healers." - The knee specialist assures us, on a cold and otherwise unremarkable Tuesday in October.
    It's tough being back. For the first time in my life I am seeing my home city and country through what feels like foreign eyes. I never fully appreciated how much we complain as a nation. It's not just the prevalence of it either, it's the nature of it too. The gripes of my countrymen are birthed in a cauldron of self-entitlement and expectation. We accuse, we object, we blame, and we fuss, and yet we are the most privileged on this green Earth. Even if I were to sink to the depths of Scottish poverty, I would still live a more safe, secure, fulfilling, and purposeful life than 99% of people on the planet.
    My time in Central Asia has taught me to be content. My time in North America taught me to aspire. My time in India taught me to be grateful for every meal I can eat. My time in Russia and China to acknowledge and fight for the freedoms we are afforded... I can only imagine what Africa and South America await for me.
    But i'm not sure what 27 years in Scotland taught me. I feel that it is quite telling that I acquired a greater value of knowledge living out of a rucksack on the side of the road for a few years, than I did in almost 3 decades of immersion in British culture.
    I don't know if 'home', is still home for me anymore. I feel out of place, like some awkward entity on the periphery of a meaningless group conversation, i'm sure I could have something to contribute, but i'm not sure I want to anymore. I still feel an affinity to Scotlands Highlands and her history, but to her cities, urbanites and their futures, I think I must put behind me.
    I can't wait to be back on the road. To be in a perpetual state of being lost and found again. Nowhere is home, and yet in a way, everywhere is. Maybe i'll find a new home... or maybe i'll return with an ever further evolved point of view. Who knows.
    But one things for sure; The sooner Kyla's wobbly left knee solidifies the better!
    Love,
    Brucie
    joenuclear, Suncoaster and GR8ADV like this.
  14. Bt10

    Bt10 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,267
    Location:
    Saranac,MI
    Thanks for posting that up!
  15. NeilW

    NeilW 2-up Adventure Touring Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Wow. I almost didn't read his "From Facebook Nov 2018" post. Would have been a mistake to miss it as it was thoughtful, insightful, and craftily written as usual. I hope Bruce finds peace and some answers to the question of his existence. At the risk of being philosophical, I think he is soul searching. While travel is educational and enlightening, some answers can only be found, not by looking without, but by looking within.