Day 7: Gillette, WY to Cody, WY, 261 miles today/ 2,226 total
Started out nicely at 63 degrees and then gradually warmed to 68 until a few miles from Buffalo where it dropped to 58 in just a couple miles. We toughed it out in our mesh gear until Sheridan where it warmed to 70 as we stopped for coffee.
We rode to Greybull on route 14 through the Big Horn National Forest. This is a fantastic ride even with the road construction. We reached nearly 9,000' according to the GPS. A nice lunch stop at Lisa's and then rode on to Cody.
It is a good thing we booked a room in Cody during our lunch stop. We got the last queen room at the Super 8 which is one of only four motels that weren't sold out! And we paid twice as much ($160 vs. $81) for this motel as for last night's hotel in Gillette. And the Arbuckle was twice the hotel for half the money. This afternoon while walking through part of Cody on our way to and from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West museum complex, all we saw were no vacancy signs.
I suspect Yellowstone will be a zoo tomorrow. It seems the tourists don't know that it is after Labor Day and they should stay home!
Well, we can check the Yellowstone box and move on. Speaking of moving on, we decided to book a hotel for tomorrow night to ensure we had one. We spent two hours looking and calling and had to pay $200 at a ski resort hotel to avoid having to ride 300 miles after our visit to Yellowstone tomorrow. Just another reminder why I generally avoid popular tourist venues. Also, we are now seeing lots of smoke from the Forest fires in Idaho and Montana making it hard to see the mountains and we can even faintly smell smoke. I suspect our pictures tomorrow will not be nearly as spectacular as they would be otherwise. It reminds me of my visit to China where a haze hung over every city.
On the bright side, our visit to the Center of the West was fantastic. What an outstanding set of museums and overall facility. I mainly wanted to see the firearms museum, but we quickly perused the others. We stood and walked until our feet were sore and then only scratched the surface of what they have to offer. If you are in Cody, this is a must see place.
As an aside, my LT rolled over 60,000 miles today.