Day 98: September 8: Madison CG (Yellowstone) to West Yellowstone

We were awakened by the noise of a large male elk walking around the campsite. An RV'er approached him too close and was chased back against his RV. Luckily, the elk didn't gore him.
An Elk.
I took a couple of pictures of Pete and Barry. One of them appears in the trip report of a couple of days ago.
Barry and Pete (another shot)
Pete and Barry left after breakfast to hitchhike around the park and explore some of the areas we hadn't seen yet. I decided that I would rather ride on, so I said goodbye to them and packed up. It was 11:00 before I left the campsite (probably because I was subconsciously waiting for it to warm up), and I got to West Yellowstone, 14 miles away, around lunch time.

West Yellowstone is just inside Montana, a state that I haven't visited before. I've been looking forward to seeing it (partly from reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).

Welcome to Montana
I had lunch and then did my laundry (I didn't have too much, but wanted to have my long underwear tops to ride in). Then I went over to the local web design/internet service provider to connect to their phone line. Somehow, it was about 5:00 by the time I finished updating the web page and transmitting my pictures. I kept having to re-connect, since the local phone lines are pretty bad.

I talked to one of the owners, and he said that he'd come to West Yellowstone to get away from computers (he'd worked with them for 28 years). He started out here as a snowmobile mechanic, but eventually decided to bring the Internet to the town. So he started an Internet service provider service, using the only bandwidth that he could get here (a couple of 56K lines, for which the phone company is charging him the higher T1 rates, because of his distance from the central office). Then they made Bozeman a local call, so many of his customers went to the national ISP's.

Because I'd taken so long in West Yellowstone, I wasn't able to get to a camping area before dark. So I decided to have dinner there and stay at the local hostel (for $20, which wasn't too cheap). The hostel is the historic Madison Hotel, and wasn't too bad (though I had a roommate who came in and turned the light on after I was asleep, and another one above me who dropped something on me).

I met Matt, another bike tourist who is headed north with his girlfriend. We made plans to get together for breakfast (at 7:30!) and ride together tomorrow.