I haven't done any long trips on the motorcycle, but have in the cage.
I like to really lay down some miles through areas where I don't plan to stop. I get ahead of schedule, then don't worry about stopping to see something I find along the way. Along that same idea, I plan in extra days. If I don't use them, I get home early. That never happens, though, since I usually find someplace (or learn of it from a local) where I just decide to stay put for another day.
Sorry to hear about the traffic in Yellowstone. I was there a couple of years ago in early July, and it wasn't bad. The campgrounds were full by noon, so I claimed my campsites early in the day, but the roads were fine. That said, Yellowstone isn't a great riding destination. Speed limits and enforcement make it more appropriate for cars with automatic transmissions
. 50 to 100 miles away from the park boundaries, it is another story. There are some nice mountain passes around there. Highway 89 from Utah to Jackson, WY was pretty sweet. I was longing for my bike through there.