The internet at our accommodations here in West Yellowstone isn’t terribly fast, especially when the whole team is awake and using phones, ipads, computers, etc, so I’ve resorted to posting our daily updates the following day before everyone wakes up. I’m sorry to those of you reading on the East Coast…you can get highlights on our Facebook or Instagram pages during the day!
Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016: Less than 24 hours after we rolled into West Yellowstone it started to snow so we’ve decided that we brought the white stuff with us! Our plan was to go for an easy skate rollerski into Yellowstone National Park on the park road (West Yellowstone sits at the edge of the park and has a park entrance on the east side of town) but we woke up snow-covered roads and more falling quickly. Instead we put on our running shoes and headed to some trails (not the ski trails) that sit between town and the Madison River, east of town. You can see where we’re staying (tiny round marker by the ‘Y’ in West Yellowstone on the map. The trails are in the open green space between town and the river. The park road, which we’ll hopefully get to ski on instead at some point, is route 191 where it heads southeast.
This is how much snow we had at the start of our run, around 9am. Not enough to ski but enough that rollerskiing certainly wasn’t possible.
Heading through town we got lots of friendly waves from the locals. The West Yellowstone Ski Festival is a big business week for the area. The ski shop owners told us that Thanksgiving week represents a 5th of their annual business and can determine the success or failure of a fiscal year based on the turnout, which is turn is determined by the weather (snow) so they’ve obviously been holding their breath and are psyched that it’s snowing!
Heading to the river…
The Madison River!
We saw some Canadian Geese and Trumpeter Swans but no other wildlife, which is pretty much the norm with this crew as we make quite a bit of noise running through the woods (especially with snowball fights and white washes).
The trail went right along the bank for a while.
Happy skiers, even though we were running!
The trail had a really long, straight section heading to and from the river where it was lined with pine trees that were gorgeous covered in the fresh snow.
Looking ahead of the group at the single set of foot prints left by someone who beat us to the punch….
After training the crew had lunch, showers, study hall and an easy afternoon off while the snow continued to fall outside. Around 4pm we made the drive across town in a whiteout to hit up the coffee shop, which also doubles as a ski/bike shop. Greg and TK decided there was enough snow to wear their new snow suits (thrift store finds in Sun Valley).
By dinnertime the snow measurement (as taken by Carl) was about 9.5inches but there was still a light dusting coming down after dark so we’ll see what’s out there this morning! Dinner featured steaks with potatoes and carrots, all prepared by Carl, Tanner, TK and Rena.
Today our plan is to SKI on the Rendezvous trails right in town. The groomer was out yesterday evening with at least a roller and possibly went back out with the cat if there was enough snow. Stay tuned for highlights on Facebook and Instagram during the day and today’s update tomorrow morning around 7am MST/9am EST.
Time to play in the snow!