Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring (for a day) Bike Ride

Just Don't Get Used To It
.. A time comes when all the elements are just perfect. Take advantage of it. Today was the perfect day for a spring bike ride in Yellowstone National Park. This early spring ritual is available to all who should choose to gamble on the weather and construction. The closer you live to Yellowstone - the better your chances of having a perfect time. It's a perquisite of living near "Wonderland."
.. The roads have miraculously appeared from beneath the snow. Only the wildlife, construction crews, and administrative travel are on the roads. The historic canopy from the old entrance station has been moved to the new entrance station and construction is moving at an appropriate pace.
.. The visitors that arrived on this perfect day displayed license plates from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, California, and Montana. The streets adjacent to the park entrance filled up early and bikers of all stripes ventured to the park.
.. Walkers, joggers, runners, skaters, bladers, and boarders are welcomed to the park for free during the shoulder seasons and it is a joy.
.. Should you find yourself in the neighborhood, and be sans wheels; fear not!
.. There are two bicycle shops and this is as busy as it gets for both of them. They have trailers for the youngsters, and bicycles for whatever style of riding you chose to enjoy.
.. Recumbent, road bikes, trail bikes, balloon tires, tandem, you name it you get it.
.. While in town the most exciting thing, other than being mowed down by a bicyclist, is the new roof being installed on the Union Pacific Dining Lodge. This structure has nearly 1/2 acre of roof. It is an Underwood building and is on the National Register of Historic Places. As such the shingles had to be specially ordered and manufactured. The crane was erected last fall and work progressed until the snow became too deep. Roofing resumed last week and is well underway.
.. Should you choose to take advantage of the free entrance and the uncrowded roads, be advised that not all days are like today. And there won't be many more between now and the 18th when the 35 foot recreational vehicles descend upon Yellowstone.