I'm a double cancer survivor, cyclist and walker who does various challenges for different charities, mainly cancer-related.

In 2016 I climbed every single 'Birkett' in the Lake District - all 542 fells over 1,000' within the National Park, including all 214 Wainwrights. I've also done a three-week cycle tour of Tasmania in February 2015 and amongst other things, I've cycled from Land's End to John o'Groats (2003), Rotterdam to Lemvig (Denmark) (2005), walked the Pennine Way (2008) completed (my first) ascent of all 214 'Wainwrights' in the Lake District in only 55 days (2009), cycled 4,500 miles around the coast of Great Britain (2011), cycled all 42 of the accessible Western Isles of Scotland in under a month (2012), twice abseiled 230 ft from the top of The Big One in Blackpool, cycled the WWI Western Front from London to Compiegne via Ypres and Arras (2014), cycled 750 miles in the Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton (2014), done a bit of sky-diving and cycled Australia's Great Ocean Road - just before lockdown in 2020.

Altogether I've raised over £120,000 for my charities including The Christie, Cancer Research UK, the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, and ABF (The Soldiers' Charity) and I was mightily chuffed to receive the British Empire Medal in the 2014 New Year's Honours List.

I'm a Rotarian and give illustrated talks about my adventures in exchange for a donation to charity, so if you're looking for a speaker leave me a message. I am also Event Organiser for the Ribble Valley Ride Cycle Sportive, to be held this year on Sunday 5 September 2021 - more details at www.ribblevalleyride.org

You can also follow me on Twitter - @CancerBikeMan and on Facebook - just search for Bill Honeywell

Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, whilst The Rosemere does fantastic work for patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Yellowstone and Grand Teton Cycle Tour, September 2014. Day 8

Saturday 13 September –Shoshone Lodge to Cody – 48.5 miles

You may remember me saying I’d lost a filling on the second day of cycling.  Well the sharp edge ot the tooth was beginning to lacerate the side of my tongue, so as we were heading to Cody, a town of some 10,000 citizens, I thought it worth seeing if I could find a dentist there.  Well of course dentists don’t normally work at weekends, but after a quick exchange of emails with big brother Captain Greybeard (someone who knows how to use Google to find any information) I had the emergency telephone number of a dental practice.  The lovely ladies at reception allowed me to use the phone, but the best I could make contact with was an answering machine. I left my details – including phone number at Shoshone and mobile phone number, the nature of the problem etc.  They haven’t rung me yet.

Shoshone River

Time to hit the road and follow the Wapiti Road to Cody.  It looked good on the map – nearly 50 miles generally downhill (following the Shoshone River downstream), described by the guidebooks, and the people at Shoshone Lodge, as perhaps the most scenic road in North America.  The first 25 – 30 miles didn’t disappoint.  The scenery – rivers, rock formations (including the ‘hoodoos’, great pinnacles of sandstone resembling stalagmites at times), the distant snow-clad mountains, were all spectacular.  No bears though.  A few Clark’s Nutcrackers stuffing their cheeks with pine nuts, rather like hamsters.  The Nutcracker is a pretty grey , black and white bird related to the British Jay, which is obvious as soon as it flies in that bouncing, butterfly-like way.

Spectacular Hoodoos...

All I can see is a man on a mobility scooter chasing a bear!

Clark's Nutcracker - sorry about the poor quality

Near Wapiti village we stopped at a filling station and general store called the Red Barn.  We had coffee and cookies, and Richard, who had bought a week’s supply of teacakes the day before, made us all turkey sandwiches as we sat outside.  My phone rang – the dentist perhaps?  No, it was Val just ringing on the off-chance that I might hear it.  She must be psychic with timing like that.

Great Scenery

It's easy being a postman

I'm getting mixed messages from this one

Beef on the hoof

Is this the Pilsbury Dough Man or someone else?

Buffalo Bill Reservoir

Now the wind picked up and for the rest of the day we had a strong headwind, negating any benefit from the gradual descent.  We reached the Buffalo Bill Reservoir and continued along its shore until we reached the visitor centre, where we learned that the dam was for a while the highest concrete structure in the world.  The trunks of dead trees washed down by the river accumulate behind the dam and are an impressive sight until they’re cleared once a year.  The paving stones outside the centre are all inscribed with the names of people who made a financial contribution to its construction.

A year's supply of logs

Don't look down!

These aren't nice to cycle through...

...this is much better!

We noticed as we turned into the visitor centre car park that just a little further on was a long road tunnel through the adjacent mountain.  I think Kathryn expressed to one of the officials her concern about our safety cycling through it, and he immediately offered to open up the security gate which would allow us to cycle, tunnel-free, down the old canyon road, which was superb!  We passed the hydro-electric plant and before long were in the outskirts of Cody, founded by Buffalo Bill himself and now Rodeo Capital of the West as well as much more.

Cody Rodeo Centre

Cody Old Town, now a reconstruction

The famous Irma Hotel

Once in the town centre we found our lodgings for the next two nights – the Irma Hotel, built by Buffalo Bill and named after his daughter.  It’s an iconic feature of the town with a wild west bar, another huge cherrywood bar given to Bill by Queen Victoria, traditional (old-fashioned!) rooms... and outside, every evening at 6.00 pm, a gunfight is staged.  I was eagerly anticipating this but it turned out to be rather less exciting than you might expect.  As I posted on Facebook, “A few people were shot dead in the gunfight, but many more simply died of boredom”.  The ‘commentator’ asked at the outset if there were any retired ‘vets’ in the audience, and I was pleased that Tony, our retired veterinary surgeon, understood the distinction between American and English with no difficulty!

...zzzzzz.... BANG!!! ....zzzzzzz......

Dinner was in the hotel dining room, near the Cherrywood Bar, and being in the heart of the Wild West I thought a steak would be just the ticket, but I’m afraid it was too juicy, or should I say fatty, for me.  Tomorrow would be reserved for seeing the town, and in particular the massive Buffalo Bill Centre, five museums in one.

Total mileage 256.1 miles

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