DAY 55 (8/4/05): Cooke City, MT to Norris Junction, WY
76.9 mi.  This morning we rode downhill a handful of
miles to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone
National Park.  After entering the park, we saw some
bison and antelope on our way down to Mammouth, with a
net loss of about 700 ft of elevation.  Mammouth was
totally mobbed with tourists and cars, so we left
after buying a little bit of food.  From Mammouth, we
had a 1200ft climb up to a higher plateau.  That climb
was made more interesting by the fact that several
bears were swimming in a lake to the left of, and
about 40 ft below, the main road.  This caused a
tremendous traffic jam, with people leaping in and out
of their still-moving vehicles with abandon to view
and photograph the bears.  Joel and I tried to get
through there as quickly and safely as possible. 
Things improved once we got onto the high plateau,
traffic dropped off a bit and we made good time across
the park to Norris Junction.  Although the signs said
that the campground was full, there were two
designated hiker/biker sites that were still
unoccupied, and we took one of those.  The water at
the campground tasted strongly of sulfur, consistent
with the aroma of many of the springs that we had
passed along the way.  One of the most interesting
aspects of the scenery in Yellowstone is that much of
the park burned in a huge forest fire in 1988, so the
hillsides now are covered with a thick growth of pine
trees only 4 or 5 feet tall, interspersed with the
dead white trunks of the older trees that were killed
in the fire.

DAY 56 (8/5/05): Norris Junction to Flagg Ranch, WY
82.7 mi.  I had another little suite of milestones
today as Dagny and I rolled across our 4000th mile and
Joel and I crossed the Continental Divide twice before
lunch.  We were awakened this morning at around 4:30
by the sound of a pack of wolves howling to each other
in the pre-dawn quiet.  The air was unbelievably cold
this morning, probably in the upper 30's when we got
up.  We of course put on all of our gear and then
split a whole box of instant oatmeal to help us warm
up.  We then cruised a relatively flat 30mi to Old
Faithful.  Although we didn't see that geyser erupt,
we did see lots of other hot pots and smaller geysers
spewing steam and superheated water into the cold
morning air.  After Old Faithful, we headed up the
Continental divide, crossing it at 8200ft and then
again at 8300ft.  We met some nice guys on 16lb road
bikes who passed us rather effortlessly on the first
ascent.  They were really nice and stopped to take
pictures with us at the top.  From the top of the
second pass, we descended fairly steadily through the
southern part of the park, concluding with a really
dramatic drop down to the south entrance of the park. 
That decent was on a road that must not have been
affected by the 1988 fire, since the trees on either
side were very tall and thick.  Directly ahead of us
as we went down we could see the Tetons, framed by the
road and trees.

DAY 57 (8/6/05): Flagg Ranch to Wilson, WY 65.4 mi. 
Today we rode across Teton National Park, featuring
spectacular views of the mountains, including Grand
Teton.  The mountains are very rocky, with a good
amount of snow still clinging to the tops.  Compared
to the past few days, today's ride was relatively
flat, no climbs over 500ft.  We stopped for a
mini-break at Jenny Lake, which is a really beautiful
blue glacial lake nestled at the base of the
mountains.  Upon leaving the park, we stopped at a
town called Moose and met up with Joel's friend Josh,
who came up on his road bike to ride us in to Wilson. 
We rode together on the windy, narrow Moose-Wilson
road and then picked up a bike path that lead us right
into the small town of Wilson, which is about a 20 min
drive from downtown Jackson.  We are being hosted here
by two very nice friends of Joel's.  After showering
and relaxing for a bit, we drove into Jackson to meet,
of all people, my father, who flew in this afternoon
for an AMC hiking trip in Yellowstone.  It was great
to see him and we had an absolute feast at the
Rendezvous Bistro in Jackson.  Joel and I caught him
up on our adventures and he gave us the word from
Newton.  When we got back to Wilson, we stayed up late
chatting with Joel's friends, one of whom is a
paraglider who spent a good portion of the day soaring
around at 18000 ft.

DAY 58 (8/7/05): Rest Day, Wilson, WY.  Today Joel and
his friends decided to go out for a little hike, but I
felt like really resting after all the climbing that
we've been doing, so I wussed out and stayed home.  I
did all of our laundry, baked a peach pie, ate some
good bagels from Pearl Street Bagels (conveniently
just a 5 min walk away from where we're staying), and
read a book.  The only minor tragedy of today is that
I tried to use a card reader on Joel's friends'
computer to upload pictures from my camera for the
site and I think that some kind of negative
interaction occurred between the card and the computer
(curse Windows!) and now the card can't be read by
either the computer or my camera unless I reformat it,
so I think unforutnately for the web fan base there
won't be any pictures of Wyoming for me to send home. 
We still have about 4 miles of Wyoming to ride
tomorrow as we head into Idaho so I will try and
document those few miles very thouroughly and keep all
of my valuable data as far away from Bill Gates
related operating systems as possible!