Starting Location: Grand Teton National Park
Ending Location: Dubois, WY
Lowest Elevation: 6732
Highest Elevation: 9584
After hearing how early Eddy gets up evey morning, I decided that I would get an early start this morning as well. I started getting things packed up around 6 and he was already pretty much done packing and starting to make breakfast. We said our goodbyes as he left to go hike to Inspiration Point. I was able to get everything packed up and get on the road around 7. On my way out of the campground I saw Phillip, someone I worked with while I was at WSU. He was on vacation and searching for a campsite. No wonder these campgrounds fill up so early!
While heading out of the park, I couldn't help but to look back to the Tetons every couple of minutes. They looked so amazing in the morning, especially so up close. I stopped for a small snack and to enjoy the view a couple miles before exiting the park. When I got about a mile out of the park I realized that I didn't have my phone and must have left it back where I had a snack. I felt pretty stupid for leaving it behind. I rode back to the entrance and waiting in the line of cars to get back into the park. Once I was in the park just a few hundred feet, I realized that I had plugged my phone into the solar charger while I took my break and it was with me the entire time. Now I REALLY felt stupid. Kind of funny though.
Once out of the park for good, I started to begin my long but gradual climb up Togwotee Pass, which would be the highest elevation of the trip so far at 9,584 feet. While climbing the beginning of the pass I checked back before going around each corner, thinking that it would be my last sight of the Tetons each time. I was surprised how far I got before the Tetons were out of site.
For most of the pass there wasn't anything too exciting to look at, it was mostly just a bunch of hills to my side. When I got closer to the top, there were some pretty mountains and more and more snow around each corner. There were also a couple of lakes that you could turn off to in the National Forest that I thought would be great to come back to visit one day. When I got to the top of the pass, after talking to a small family who was enjoying the view and travelling in an RV I went to go chat with a couple of bikers who were heading West on the TransAm trail. They had started in Yorktown, VA sometime in April. We shared a bit of information for what eachother should expect for the next bit of our routes and then continued our seperate ways.
Fairly close to the top on my way down the pass I pulled out to try to make it to a lake/picnic area. This didn't end up working too well as eventually the dirt road turned into a couple feet of snow, and I decided to turn back because it wouldn't be worth it. So I filtered some ice cold water from a flowing creek nearby and then headed back down the mountain after stopping by the side of the road for a quick lunch.
The descent was again very gradual with some ups and downs but was a pretty relaxing ride for most of it. A few miles down the road I stopped at the Tie Hack Historical Monument since it was just right off the road. A bit more down the road I began to get some views of rolling hills with red rock in them. The colors were amazing. I was working hard to pedal to keep myself out of the thunderstorms that were going on around me as the weather started turning bad.
When I eventually got into Dubois I headed for the episcopal church that Eddy had told me about the night before. I was greeted by trudy who showed me the area that I would have for the night. It was a nice big room with tables around in a circle. No beds or showers but it sure was a whole lot better than having to set up the tent and deal with heavy rain! She also showed me the kitchen that I was able to use.
After I got all the gear off of my bike I headed to the laundromat to take a quick shower and start my laundry. While my clothes were in the wash I went to the grocery store to get some things to make a really nice pasta, as well as a bigger pot for me to cook it in since I only had my small soloist cookset with me which wouldn't be able to make much pasta at all. After taking my groceries back to the church, I grabbed my backpack and headed back to the laundromat where I threw my clothes in the dryer and began to fill out the post cards that I had got in Yellowstone.
When I got back to the church I went over to the office to see if they might have a box that I could use to send some gear back home in. Phil (the guy who is usually available to let bikers in at later hours) said he would be happy to help me find a box if I was willing to go across the street with him to get it. We crossed the street and went into the Dubois Telephone Exchange, a company that used to run every single phone line (I think they still do, but now they are doing more stuff with fiber optics and whatnot). He gave me a big tour of all of the servers, switches, converters, etc. and we nerded out about all of the equipment for a while. It was really cool to see how all of the stuff worked, and he taught me a lot about how fiber works and why it is so much better and faster!
After I had my box I packed it up with everything that I didn't need with me. My hammock, rain pants, some camera gear, and other small things. Then I started to make use of the kitchen and made a nice pasta with lots of fresh food in it. I made a pasta big enough to probably fill a family, but I somehow managed to scarf it all down. It's amazing how much I am able to eat now since I am burning through so many calories a day.
I finished up my blog for the Yellowstone day, then talked with my dad for a little bit on the phone before going to bed.