The thru hikers call a day with no mileage a “zero” and a day with few miles a “nero”. I like these terms and will adopt them. I took a nero! After two nights with little sleep and hard miles I was tempted to take a zero but thought I should make some progress.
The day started early. Mostly because I was too cold to stay in the tent. I got breakfast at a diner at 6 and then did shower laundry at a laundromat. From there I explored West Yellowstone. Being the closest city to Yellowstone it thrives on tourism. I was tempted to spend th $15 to see the grizzly and wolf zoo, but decided to eat a good breakfast and lunch instead.
For lunch I stopped at a Chinese restaurant on the outskirts of town. When I arrived, there was an Asian tour bus parked outside and it was packed with Chinese tourists. That was a good sign. I wanted to go to Old Faithful simply because of the buffet, but this was a much better deal. The atmosphere and food reminded me of my trip to China earlier this year. I especially appreciated the giant serving of rice. The deal I would recommend to hikers and cyclists is the two person dinner for $15. I asked if one person could order it and the waiter said yes. You get two entrees, two soups, and unlimited rice and drinks.
To rest and digest, I went to the city park and took a nap. The wind was blowing strong from the North and I wanted to give it a chance to die down before hitting the road. I finally left West Yellowstone around 4 PM after restocking on food. The wind had all but stopped and it was relatively flat. I took my time and pedalled easy trying to enjoy my nero. There were campgrounds just North of Hebgen Lake I planned to stay at. The ride was cut short when I saw the Yellowstone Holiday RV Park. It had tiny cabins for rent and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It was $100 more than free camping, but I enjoyed getting out of the cold. The unlimited hot shower, free-ish laundry, and microwave helped. The cabins were bare except for the small table and bunkbeds.
Once checked in, I gave Quinton a call to let him know that I had room if he was anywhere close. He responded and was only 10 miles behind me. The rest of the evening I watched the osprey dive for fish and the thunderstorms develop in the East.