I left Poughkeepsie, NY at 4:00 AM on Tuesday, and after three days of 12-14 hour-long drives I reached Jackson, WY at 3:30 PM Thursday. I visited my father’s memorial in the small local cemetery on the local ski hill, and then walked around town for a while. Finishing there around 5:00, I drove to The Aspens condos and stayed with Mike, Nancy and Jenny for the night.
Friday morning I drove to the Teton National Park entrance in Moose, WY. Then I cycled the bike path from there to Jenny Lake. It was an easy 24 mile ride, just enough to wake up my legs after three days of sitting in the car. The morning was very pleasant – a typical summer day in the mountains. It was about 55 degrees at 9:00 with a clear blue sky, but I quickly felt the warmth of the morning sun at this high altitude of 6500 feet, making for a very comfortable ride. The Tetons looked magnificent as always in the morning light. Brightly colored wild flowers lined the bike path in contrast to the sagebrush plains that lead up to the forest and then to the granite mountains peaks. I also rode past Jenny Lake and stopped at some beautiful overlooks.
I finished my leisurely ride before noon and went back to the condo to relax for a while with Mike, Nancy and Jenny. Tonight I am staying in Jackson at the Virginian. I joined Mark, who I had met on last year’s cross country ride, and we had dinner together at the Gun Barrel restaurant. Following that, we drove to Teton Village and picked up our rider packets in preparation for tomorrow.
You can find information about the ride and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition at this link http://www.cyclegreateryellowstone.com/route/route_day1.html, and I will post actual route details and pictures as I go along. There will not be any internet access at the campsites, so there will likely be a delay in the posts, especially the pictures. I am looking forward to the adventure.
Saturday was the day which we all gathered at Teton Village to get organized, have dinner together, and discuss the route for the next day. There was no ride today, and although I could have ridden on my own, I chose to walk, see some sites, get organized in camp, and just relax. I also had a nice visit with my niece Sarah who works here at the resort.
Reality is hitting now. Our campsite is in a wild field of grass where the elk and deer sometime roam. It seemed a little primitive at first, but I am already getting used to it. I feel a bit disorganized, which is strange because I am living out of only one duffel bag worth of stuff which should be simple. I suppose that once I get the routine down the simplicity of living light will be very organized.
I’m sitting in my tiny tent in the dark typing on my laptop. I haven’t done that before. I think a solar powered battery pack is in my future.
Dinner was good tonight and the service was very well organized. After dinner, some leaders of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition spoke inspirationally about their cause and progress. They announced that we have 650 riders for the week. Our guest speaker was Chris Johns who is the head of National Geographic. He gave a brief history of the role that National Geographic has played in the park systems in this area. He also stressed how this area is still an important focus today. They are working on an issue of the magazine that in 2015 will be completely dedicated to Yellowstone NP. A photographer from NG also spoke about his work around the world, and about several projects in the Tetons and Yellowstone he is currently working on.
It is 10:00 pm and dark, and the camp is very quick. I think I will sleep well tonight.
Pictures Of The Day:
Click the icon in the lower right to see photos in full screen mode.
Go here to see the full Cycle Greater Yellowstone Bike Trip Gallery
Zoom and pan the map to explore the route. Click the name or ‘View Detail’ to view more information at Garmin Connect.