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May 30, 2017

Canadian Rockies Trip—Day 3

The morning started at 5:30 am when the van next to me started to idle loudly. Yellowstone was next on the list, but I had forgotten to pack blankets. I knew camping at the higher altitudes was going to be chilly so tried to find a place on the Internet along my route to pick something up. Oddly nothing showed up at all, but as I drove I came across an older big box department store. I forget sometimes that the Internet doesn’t know everything.

Used an alternative route though Bighorn National Forest to change things up and enjoyed it quite a bit. Saw moose for the first time in the wild. My last trip out west I had really wanted to see some moose but didn’t find any. This time I came across several. I stopped to photograph one a little over 100 feet away munching on grass on the other side of a fence. The moose decided the grass was better on the opposite side of the road and with great ease stepped over the fence and walked to the other side.

On my arrival to Yellowstone I saw 3 bighorn sheep walking along side the road—another first. At visitor center I was shown my cycling options. There were not a lot as the park is mostly roads and hiking trails. Parking by Yellowstone Lake I opted to try the closest bike area. Couldn’t find it so I cycled down the road and found the second. Did a 13 mile loop that was not too challenging. Opted to ware shorts and short sleeve shirt. Temperature started around 60 but dropped by the lake and during the ride. Put on a long sleeve shirt to finish ride but was never all that uncomfortable.

What I found I liked about cycling in a place like Yellowstone is that I have plenty of time to observe and setup shots I want to take, and I don’t have to wait for a pullover area to do so. There is a lot of road traffic but for the most part the traffic moves slow and I didn’t feel too concerned with it.

I ended the day sitting by Yellowstone Lake photographing the sunset. Then it was time to crawl into my trunk for the night. I had a plan in mind to test my cycling skills the following day.

May 29, 2017

Canadian Rockies Trip—Day 2

Day started around 6:00 am. Mostly just trek across South Dakota. At the Badlands I asked about cycling options and was shown 3 loops between 18 and 27 miles. I opted for a 23 mile loop at the far end of the park. Drove very excitedly to this location. Winds were said to be around 18 MPH from the northwest. My ride started on a gravel road traveling west-northwest (into the wind). One of my most rewarding rides I’ve ever had. Badlands on one side of me and a sea of prairie dogs on the other. Some of the little sniffy guys seemed pretty carious about me. Exited the park for the north leg of the ride, again into the wind. Wasn’t bad. Turned east and had a strong tailwind. Made great time on the east and south legs of the trip. Two hour ride, under 23 miles, 1,500 Calories, and not tried.

Wanted to find a rest area near Rapid City for the plans I had for the following day. There were no options as areas were either closed or only had 3 hour parking. Angrily continued past Sturgis into Wyoming and slept at a lovely rest area.

Pictured is a section of road from my ride in the Badlands.  This section of the park doesn't get a lot of travelers and it made for a very pleasant ride.

   I've been working with Yocto embedded Linux lately for a work project.  Building can be a slow process and I managed to compile the project on a Pentium D machine in just over 24 hours.  Needing some more horsepower to compile my good friend Pluvius let us a 12 thread workstation.  I was able to reduce the compile time to under 4 hours.  It also gave me the chance to try running Proxmox virtualization management.  This system went on quickly and while I have a number of things tweak I had a functional quite fast.  This setup is going to work nice for future work projects and I may write more about it as time goes on.