Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Tour of a Different Kind

It has been over a year since our last blog entry, but not by much! A year and eight days ago, we finished our 5,000 mile tour in Washington DC. Quite a bit has happened since then. Dani and I both spent the summer working in Yellowstone National Park, she as a park ranger, me as a wildland firefighter. We had a great summer backpacking, fishing, camping, hiking and floating rivers in and around the park. One thing we didn't do much of was ride our bikes! After our trip I (Greg) eagerly stripped my Bianchi Volpe down to a bare frame. It wasn't that I disliked the bike, it actually served admirably, it was just way too small. I haven't purchased a new touring bike yet, and have solely been relying on my Surly Karate Monkey (yes that is the name of a bicycle).

This Fall and Winter, Dani and I have been living in Paradise Valley just North of Yellowstone. This valley is beautiful, surrounded by mountains on all sides with the Yellowstone river cutting down the middle. It has been a nice relaxing winter. I didn't work this winter, but Dani was able to find a great job with Yellowstone Association Institute as a winter instructor. She lead groups on trips into the interior of the park, sometimes to Old Faithful, talking about natural history, looking for wolves and geysers, and leading snowshoe hikes and cross country skis. Not too bad!

About two months ago, we started getting the itch to travel and started looking for different destinations as our area is still a little to frozen and snow capped for the winter reprieve we were looking for. We discussed going to Hawaii and decided it would be great, but too expensive right now. We considered riding in Southern Utah, but many of the roads we wanted to ride are above 8,000 feet, and could be snow covered in late March. We couldn't decide on anything. One day I was checking out cheap airfare and found cheap tickets to Florida. I called Dani at work, and we booked the tickets the next day!

Our spontaneous decision was made without any real idea of what we would do in Florida, we just knew it would be warm, and place we have never been. Within a short time, Adventure Cycling Association released the February edition of their magazine Adventure Cyclist. To our surprise, this issue featured a trip in Southern Florida! We decided we would use the story as a basis for our trip, and then add in our own sightseeing and schedule.

So, now that I am all caught up, we have boxed our bikes up and BOB trailer up and shipped them to a Fort Lauderdale bike shop. (I will have to detail how that went in another post) We fly out of Bozeman on March 22. Until then we will be getting our things packed up and ready to go. This is already a long boring post, but we will try to continue this blog, and use it as a journal for all of our bicycle travel. Keep checking back when we are on our trip if you'd like!


Figured I should put up some nice photos from this winter:

This is the view from our back window

Golden eagle on a deer carcass right by the road

Castle geyser in Upper Geyser Basin while it was almost -30 degrees

Elk outside of Yellowstone


Arizona hotels said...

Wow, you have a very interesting life. I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone National Park, but I have never been there. You've taken some very beautiful photos too. That Castle geyser looks very powerful. Regards!

Jared said...

Hi Greg & Dani!! I hope you're both doing well, & excited for your trip to Florida.

Eat lots of oranges! They grow nearly everywhere, the rotten ones make great missiles too. Dani, when could Greg's day NOT be improved by a flying molten moldy orange?? :P

It's probably a good thing I'm not down there with you, else my lifespan may be substantially cut short.

Bring something for the mosquitos, they are going to love you! (not as much as me)

DaniandGreg said...

Hahah Jared! I didn't throw rotten fruit at Greg.....yet, lol :) I did get some wonderful fruit. We stopped at this great fruit stand and we had an extremely juicy and ripe mango, which you just can't find as easily in Montana. I also ate a giant grapefruit, which Greg doesn't like, so I had it all to myself. II hope I don't sound too greedy!

So far the mosquitoes aren't bad (crossing my fingers) but we've been mildly annoyed by no-see-ums