Monday, July 2 Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Dubois, WY 88.39 miles 4,320 feet of climb
Piece of cake compared to yesterday. Most everyone was pretty trashed from the difficult ride yesterday and the pace going out of town was several MPH slower the first hour. We were up at 5AM and roommate Nancy went to get her coffee and came back and said our breakfast, scheduled for 6 AM, was already set up. I was down there by 5:15, so were about a dozen others. It’s a riot how hungry we are ALL THE TIME!
Sure was COLD this morning, but there in Jackson Hole at 6,000 feet it gets pretty cold over night. I had to dig out the head band, over gloves, and jacket to start out. Could have used some long tights too, but stuck it out so I wouldn’t have to carry them after an hour when I would be all warmed up from pedaling.
It was a darn good thing we didn’t have our day off there in Jackson Hole. I would have done serious damage on the credit card. Riding through the downtown was very interesting. What a town, so many unique shops. I could have spent days, maybe two weeks, browsing through this place. Throughout the whole town it is “rustic” in décor and building. Must be a strict building code for all the stores and buildings were log cabin like.
It was so cold, out of town, that there was a fog hanging over the streams. Looking to my right, I was thrilled to see three elk drinking from the water. I stopped and watched them for a little and then they went running off into the neck-high grass. First time I have ever seen real live elk out in the wilderness.
Bob was riding with me. The Teton Mountains were magnificent. They are so high and jagged! We were within sight of them almost the entire day – almost to the top of the Continental Divide. As we rode along every thing everywhere was picture postcard perfect. Bob pointed out these luxurious homes facing the Teton Mountain range and he said that was where quite a few movie stars live in those homes.
While I was eating breakfast, I looked over the local real estate listings. Pricey. Want a 20 acre ranch? A mere $21,200,000. Most homes listed at $7 million and up!
So we passed beyond Jackson Hole, Wyoming and we headed for the first climb of the day at mile 40 into the ride. Over the next 7 miles we climbed 1,500 feet at about 7% grade. It was so cool, unlike yesterday, when I started climbing and the heat was bearing down. It was before 10 AM and I really enjoyed the long and absolutely spectacular scenery that kept me in awe the entire time.
Several of us stopped at a store and food place and had sandwiches to give us energy for the next 8 mile 1,200 foot climb up to Togwater Pass. This Pass is 9,658 feet up and at that point is the Continental Divide, Wow! We officially are in the East now. The waters on the west run to the Pacific and now on the east they run to the Mississippi. First stream I saw, I stopped to check if it was really running eastward!
After the Continental Divide, we were at 57.3 miles. But what a descent, only 6% the first nine miles and 2% - 5% for the next 20 miles. Oh, was that fun – 29 miles of pay-off - all down. We were really letting it rip all the way into the town of Dubois.
We are at the Stagecoach Inn tonight. Touristy town. Everything is cowboy and western. I took a picture of an arch made from elk horn that is next to the swimming pool. A lot of elk sacrificed their horns to make that arch.
Very sad news at dinner tonight. One of our riders died last night in his sleep at the motel. A father and son, Bob and Joe, had been with us on this trip. It was a dream trip this father and son had to cross the USA on their bicycles. But sadly, Bob Donahue has suddenly been called to another place! I saw the ambulance come up to the front door this morning at 5:30 AM and they rushed in, but never came out with anyone. We all wondered if something had happened to one of our group, but we were not told about the death until after dinner this evening.
I still haven’t finished yesterday’s journal entry. But again, I’m out of time and must get to bed so I’ll be ready for the 79 miles to Riverton. It is 94 degrees right now. Sure was a shock coming down from 9,658 feet into this town some 3,000 feet lower. The HEAT is something else. A dry heat, only 15% humidity.