“Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything
better.” Albert Einstein.
|Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. |
Yellowstone National Park is an American icon, after all, it
is America’s first national park.
is where this story begins.
don’t reveal the ending but this trip will end in Hollister, California for the
annual motorcycle rally, after all, it is the birth place of the American biker
Of course, Albert Einstein was right. I must look deeper into nature for my answers.
This trip into the wilds of Yellowstone is with my family
where Denise has rented a fully furnished cabin just outside of Gardiner, Montana.
It is called the Grizzly Den Cabin
and is a stone's throw from the Yellowstone River.
fact, our grandkids – Evan, Kai, and Malia – tossed a few rocks into the fast
It is quiet here, very
Nearby, there is an osprey
nesting on a tall man-made pole.
Occasionally, it sweeps down from its perch and glides above the water
in search of a tasty trout to feed its chicks.
|Our family at Joffe Lake|
Our son and daughter – Keith and Lori, and son-in-law – Teo
are with us for a week exploring this vast wilderness called Yellowstone.
I once worked here and then it was work;
today I am a tourist and the scenery is breathtaking.
There are hundreds of bison grazing freely in
Lamar Valley and several cross the Lamar River.
It reminds me of the movie Dances with Wolves.
We are all surprised by the huge size of
It is the beginning of
summer and they are shedding their fur that kept them warm during the
There are also herds of elk with
newborn calves, and pronghorn antelope can be seen on the hillside.
They all seem to be in perfect harmony.
We keep a watchful eye for the grizzly bear
but do not see one.
We spot several black
Near the Lamar River, Lori spots
two wolves that are from the Soda Butte pack.
|A herd of Bison crossing the Lamar River|
Today, I am not riding my motorcycle and I greatly miss that
part of traveling as another biker passes by.
I know it is odd on a nature trip to Yellowstone to take pictures of
motorcycles but that’s what I’m doing.
One biker is heading towards Bear Tooth Pass and the views he will see
Several have their
rain gear on as the afternoon showers begin to fall.
One year, on our way to Bear Tooth Pass, the
rain turned to hail and then snow.
still hear the hail bouncing off my helmet.
I loved it.
On our way to Norris Geyser Basin, we spot a lone fox
digging for rodents.
It has a long,
fuzzy tail that it uses to keep warm in the winter.
He digs but does not catch what he smells or
All the grandkids, almost at
once, say “It smells like rotten eggs.”
Yep, we are here kids.
|Fox near Norris Geyser Basin. Photo by Denise Griego|
Yellowstone is huge and you cannot see everything so we pick
We all want to fish, so we
head off for Yellowstone Lake.
first cast, I hook and catch a nice rainbow trout.
It weighs about two pounds.
My grandson Kai helps me place it into our
fish bag and he continues fishing.
I see his pole bending radically, I know he has a big fish.
His dad helps him reel in another rainbow
His is bigger and weighs about
two and a half pounds.
We all feast on
fresh trout for dinner.
|Grandson Kai caught a big rainbow trout|
Kai, Evan, and Malia each earn their Junior Ranger Badges
and being close to nature is now second hand to them.
Our week in Yellowstone goes quickly and we return to
Bozeman for our flight back to California.
It is Saturday.
The attendant at
the United Airline counter says that our flight to San Francisco has been canceled
due to mechanical problems.
this flight to catch the last plane tonight to Fresno.
“I am sorry, but there are no other flights
available,” he says.
He is a big guy
with a beard and hears my story.
jury duty on Monday in Fresno,” I tell him hoping that might make a
He barely moved his eyes away
from the computer screen.
He looks like
a biker so I try another approach.
I don’t care about the jury duty, but I was planning to make the last day of
the Hollister Motorcycle Rally on Sunday and test ride a 2017 Indian
“Oh, now that sounds like
fun,” he adds.
He makes a call and mumbles
some words to the person on the other end of the help line.
“Your flight in San Francisco is running late
and you might just make the connection, but I can’t guarantee it,” he finally adds.
To make a long story short, we missed our
connecting flight but they put us on a later flight and we arrived back in
Three Rivers at 2 am on Sunday. Somehow, I think that guy made some good moves on our behalf. I do not know where his flight came from but we were on it heading for Fresno.
|Swan Lake area|
|Roosevelt Arch. Photo by Kai Griego|
|Robert taking pictures of bikers. Photo by Denise Griego|
|NPS photo. Park Rangers patrolling on motorcycle, circa 1919. Yellowstone National Park|
|Indian motorcycle at Fishing Bridge|
|This biker about to enter the North Entrance|
|Robert Griego at the Grizzly Den Cabin|
My alarm clock is set for 7 am. I quickly eat breakfast and pack my motorcycle and by 8:30 am I'm off for Hollister. The cool air keeps me awake. Thanks United Airline (biker) attendant!
I’ve been to the rally before but this trip
is different. Hollister Powersports
hosting the 2017 Indian Motorcycle
demo rides which end at 3 pm.
I arrive at 12 noon and see the bikes next to
a huge semi-truck.
I register quickly,
show my driver’s license, and get my wristband that allows me to ride any demo Indian Motorcycle.
“How do I get started,” I
“It is simple, pick out the Indian Motorcycle you want to ride and place your helmet on the seat,” says Sells
Manager Neal Zook.
|My demo wristband #07346|
|My 1st ride on this awesome Indian|
|Riders getting ready for our 1st ride|
|Sorry pal, this is my next ride|
|My favorite, the 2017 Indian Springfield|
|Awesome Indian Motorcycles|
There is a leader with a yellow vest at the front, 4 or 5
riders like me in the middle, and another leader with a yellow vest in the
back. The loop is about five miles and I
have a big smile on my face. The Indian
Springfield is powered by the remarkable Thunder Stoke, 111 V-Twin. This bike is air-cooled and powerful. I am not used to having six gears on a
motorcycle and I am impressed with how it accelerates, and how smooth it runs
and handles. I love it. My eye is on the 2017 Indian Springfield but
this is an opportunity so I also ride the Roadmaster, Chieftain, Vintage, and Dark
Horse. I wanted to hear the Stage 1
pipes and they impressed me. One of the
Indian Springfield’s (with Ape Hanger Handlebars) had Stage 2 Performance Cams providing
over 13% more horsepower and over 7% more torque. Fast, powerful,
|This Indian Springfield came with Stage 2 Performance Cams|
The crew at Hollister Powersports is awesome.
They answered our numerous questions.
There was “zero” pressure and they made this
trip for me, so rewarding.
Indian demo motorcycles provided me the confidence to look seriously at the Indian for my next motorcycle – Springfield, Thunder black!
|Thanks Indian ~ "One mile - One dream"|
The Hollister Rally was winding down when I left the Indian
Dealership but I accomplished my goal to test ride some awesome Indian
Motorcycles. Absolutely dream machines. Thanks Indian.
|Iconic Johnny's on Wentz and San Benito Street|
|GEICO welcomes bikers on San Benito Street|
|Cool bike on San Benito Street|
|Robert Griego. My 2007 Yamaha Road Star ~ 135,000 miles|
Yesterday, I was taking pictures of bison and motorcycles in
Yellowstone National Park; today I am riding the Indian demo motorcycles at the
Hollister Motorcycle Rally. There is a big smile on my face. I love it! I can't believe I have 135,000 on my Yamaha Road Star.
Both American icons!
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