West Yellowstone – Ennis, 73.3 miles

After breakfast, we noticed an espresso stand, and learned that it would be following us on the ride… And just before we rolled out, I ran into Josh Lasky, a friend from the California Climate Ride who was in the middle of a cross-country bike journey to benefit Climate Ride.

I guess I was easy to spot as a former Climate Rider:
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Tent Sherpa towel guard… And friend
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The very organized tent camp
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Our first stop, where we both needed our bikes adjusted – and there was a phenomenally long line for the porta-potties:

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The (unofficial) Quake Lake stop. Guess how this lake was formed?
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The first rest stop with snack treats. The views made it well worth the climb:
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We stopped for lunch along a river teeming with fly fishermen. We saw an epic battle unfold between man and fish… and the fish managed to escape! An audible groan of dismay could be heard from the crowd of riders on the shore. Sure, it’s catch and release. Sure, we’re all riding to support the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, but still…

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Near the end of the day, it got hot and the headwinds got aggressive. We spent a lot of time at the last rest stop, where I saw alumni of both of my parents’ schools.

Go Golden Gophers!
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Go Bison!
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We are here:
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Josh (and his massive touring bike) and me:
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When we finally rolled into Ennis and our sprawling campsite for the evening, the winds were still swirling, foiling riders’ attempts to dry out their clothes and towels on a nearby fence. After our showers, we took a hayride into town, and explored Ennis. Well, we explored Willie’s Distillery. After our tour and whiskey tasting, we went across the street for ice cream. Two young women did an excellent job of touting the virtues of the various flavors of Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream, given that it was the first day on the job for one of them.

As we enjoyed our treat, a fire engine rode through town. We joked that if we were in a movie, that would be the moment of foreshadowing…

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