Heck of a day. I left around 6:45 hoping to make it into Grand Teton National Park. The early morning was cold and misty, even around camp
I got on the road and soon was passing the continental divide for the 4th time this trip
I kept getting paranoid that I was hearing bears or bison in the woods around me, but I never saw anything. I got a nice short descent and got a nice view of the upcoming mountains
I came across a perfectly flat lake which was eerie and beautiful in the mist
This lake, like many of the features around here, was named after Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame. I kept going through the woods along the lake before leaving the shoreline briefly and coming across Lewis River and the Lewis Falls
The road stayed about level as the river dropped away to my left. Eventually it was probably 500 feet below me
There were also expansive views of the forests on the far side of the river for miles. I continued and soon the road started descending sharply to meet the river. It dropped into the fog and I rode through tree lined corridors filled with fog as I exited Yellowstone, a fitting exit.
It was cold again. I kept going and reached the John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway which connected Yellowstone and Grand Tetons parks. After a few miles I stopped and got some poptarts and a burrito at a convenience store. I sat around for a while in the warmth because of the cold outside. I got back on the road and was surprised that most of the trees were dead. Apparently there’d been a forest fire in 1990 or so that had destroyed much of the forest though it does seem to be recovering. The sun defeated the morning fog and it started to heat up so I removed my jacket and arm warmers. I entered Grand Teton park.
I kept climbing for a while then got my first views of Jackson Lake which is a centerpiece of the park
The mountains here are awe inspiring. Apparently some of them are over 11000 feet. I was only a few miles from camp so I kept moving. As I climbed a hill I heard a snap. My mind immediately went to broken spoke. Sure enough, one of my rear spokes had snapped at the nipple. I spent about an hour trying to get a replacement in but it was futile: I needed to remove the cassette (gears) to get the spoke in and I didn’t have the right tools. I hoped that the wheel would hold the 5 miles to camp. It did and I pulled in with relief. I met a man who was doing gravel rides throughout the park and he tried to help but he also didn’t have the right tools. I told him my route I’d just ridden was beautiful and he set off to do the 80 miles out and back (!) I got checked in at camp and one of the hosts, Jacob, said they had some friends who might have the tools I need. I’m still waiting on that so we’ll see. My current plan is to detour to Jackson and a bike shop tomorrow unless I can miraculously get a cassette removal tool out here, which is unlikely. For now I’m sitting by the water looking out over the mountains and it really is special. I hope I have more time to enjoy the park without these mechanical issues on my mind sometime. Night!
Update: Jacobs friend brought by a multi tool but it didn’t have what I needed. Jacob offered to drive me all the way to Jackson which was crazy generous, but I declined. I think the wheel will hold til I get there.
After a disappointing dinner of overpriced pizza I was feeling a bit down. I decided to go swim in Jackson Lake to try and recover. The water was cold at first but felt so nice. Even after I got out I sat around and watched the sun set behind the mountains
As soon as the sun went down it got freezing. I quickly headed back towards my warm sleeping bag. I felt much better than I had before the swim. I watched downloaded YouTube for a bit before turning in.
- Cliff bar
- Microwaveable Burrito
- Cranberry juice
- Chicken wrap
- Chocolate milk