The morning brought rain and cold.  It makes you not want to get out of your warm sleeping bag, but that is not going to get me to Virginia.  I got to use my rain gear for the first time. It kept me dry but I looked like a dork. Honesty you really can’t care what you look like when you are riding across the country on a bicycle.  So warm dork it is!  I was getting a little down with the rain and cold this morning.  I quickly realized that, what do I have to be down about.  I am riding my bike across the country and seeing things some people will never see in their lifetime.  I am very fortunate & blessed. I do not take that for granted. I changed my mood.

The mood swing brought with it some nicer weather.  Crazy how that happens. The rain stopped and I was able to take some pictures of the surrounding mountians (there are some 10,000 ft & 11,000 ft in the pics) and of some horses.  I did that for you Audrey and your horsey friends.  The ride to West Yellowstone improved with each passing hour. I was getting close to Yellowstone!  I stopped at Earthquake Lake, Audrey will remember this.  We visited this site four years ago on our RV trip.  An earthquake caused an avalanche back in the late 50’s and it created a lake.  Some 19 people were entombed in the avalache. In the pictures see where there is no trees?

I made West Yellowstone by 4:00 PM and clocked 71 miles.  I wanted to push into Yellowstone to get a few more miles and camp in the park.  I stopped at the West Entrance to the park to pay the fee and asked the ranger about occupancy at Madison Campground, this was another 14 miles away.  The ranger said the camp was full.  I was concerned that I would not be allowed to camp there.  A lot of thoughts went through my mind. Maybe I can “stelth camp” in Yellowstone? Probably highly illegal and noticing the bear scat on the shoulder, not a good idea. I was going to stop at Madison anyways and see if maybe someone would share a site for one night.  On my way to Madison I crossed the Wyoming State line!  3 states down!  Oh, and in West Yellowstone the beginning of map set 5.  Only 7 more map sets to go!

I pulled into Madison Campground and the guard at the entrance stopped me and asked how my ride was today.  We chatted and I asked him if I could see if someone would share a site, as I see the campground is full.  The guard said, no worries, we have sites for hikers/bikers behind the office and at a reduced rate.  Oh thank heavens!

I met another biker, named Tom, and he is doing the TAT as well.  Tom is from California.  Its funny, Mike said I might be running into Tom.  Tom met all those guys in Missoula at Adventure Cycling.

So here I am in Yellowstone National Park with my tent set up and all my food packed in a bear box, typing my post for the day.  What a day!

I am at Madison Campground, Yellowstone National Park.

Day 18 – 86 miles
Total 1,348.5 miles

No Facebook videos today, but here are some pics.

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