July 4th. 
The day started out with clean riding clothes, although when we had them on, we noticed much of the road grime hadn't washed out, but the clothes felt and smelled great. We ate leftover PB&Js from dinner, grabbed coffee from the KOA and were on the road before 7am.
Now that we are in the western part of the time zone, the sun rises later by the clock making very early departures a little harder.

The plan was breakfast in Ennis which was 22 miles away.  The ride took us through two ghost towns
then a big climb. At the top there was a herd of cattle
and from there we could see the road winding downhill for miles with Ennis in sight.

When we entered town we noticed people gathering and chairs lining the road. We found the grocery store, bought fruit, yogurt and hard boiled eggs. By the time we were done, the Ennis Fourth of July parade had started. Justin led the way and found a path along the parade route and out of town. 

We had packed lunch as the next town was West Yellowstone 71 miles away. The ride was a gradual climb of 2000 feet along route 287 with a strong headwind making it a struggle to maintain 10 miles per hour. The group became very discouraged when the sheriff of Madison county pulled the three of us over. He had seen us on the parade route and wanted us to know that in Montana  bikes must follow the same rules as cars. He was a cyclist himself and encouraged us to be good stewards for the sport. We thanked him and continued into the headwind. There is no picture of the sheriff as we didn't feel comfortable asking him to pose.

     We stopped for lunch halfway, took very quick naps and when we started again out luck had changed. The road took an easterly turn, still climbing, but we now had a tail wind and beautiful terrain. 
We got to West Yellowstone, ate at the Slippery Otter and while we were at dinner they closed the roads for another Fourth of July parade.  We were still in Madison county and could see an emergency vehicle in the distance.  Could this be the same sheriff from earlier?  We needed to hurry and get in out way before we were caught in a second parade.  Luckily they were still letting some cars through and we were able to find an open side street that reconnected with our route.  My sister had made us a reservation at Madison campground 14 miles away inside of Yellowstone. We entered the park and entered another state.
Planning the trip to go through Yellowstone had added miles, but the beauty of the untouched landscape made us realize we were had planned correctly.

We've made it to the campground
and are trying to get to bed early as our bodies need rest. 


  1. I am with you in spirit! Love the posts. Stay safe. Sleep well in your hotel tonight .

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  3. J,
    you should prof pic the "Entering Wyoming" picture.

    Your prof pic coach.

  4. I'm so glad you spent your first rest day enjoying Yellowstone, and I'm not at all surprised that you met such a helpful employee! YNP is the friendliest, most beautiful place I've ever worked. Looks like you had great weather at Lake--I'm enjoying your pictures and stories! --Lindsay (Lauren's friend from TX)