After a bike-maintenance and rest day in Jackson Hole, with a side trip to Yellowstone, we’re back on the road today. (Restarting after a rest day is always a bit difficult!)
It will be short mileage day, but we’re crossing the Teton Pass into Idaho, so we’re anticipating it being one of the tougher climbing days of the tour. We have been told that there is bike path that runs parallel to the highway which will get us out of traffic on the climb.
We started the morning with a hearty, delicious breakfast at The Virginian. It was actually too much food for either of us to finish after a rest day!
Michael will be returning the rental car to the airport and picking up the extra 11 or so miles back into Jackson that Nate rode on Friday. Nate will have the shorter day today. All told, though, we’ll likely both come in under 35 miles on the day.
We’ll be staying at a Warm Showers home tonight, which Nate is especially looking forward to as the hosts have offered their camper.
Check back later for updates…
Update (Day’s end): Knowing that we had a short day and a specific timeframe to meet our hosts in Victor, Idaho, we didn’t have to leave Jackson early this morning. That said, we had our latest start yet, unintentionally; It was afternoon before we got on the road!
Michael took the car back to the airport and rode back to the start point to ride with Nate. First, though, he had to find a way to jettison some cargo, with limited mailing/shipping options on Sunday. The extra running around contributed to the later-than-usual departure. Upside: Michael unloaded about 7 pounds of extra weight, which he predicts brings his total loaded bike weight under 80 lbs!
The ride back into town from the airport was quick on the bike path. Bravo to Jackson for building such an awesome bikeway for the cycling community!
Heading out of Jackson, we discovered another section of bike trail which is equally impressive. It also conveniently runs roughly parallel to the highway up to the Teton Pass (summit). For most of the climb the trail is actually on the old highway that ran over the pass between Jackson and Victor. It’s steep from start to finish, with only a couple of somewhat level sections where we could stop to recharge. Mostly we just stayed in our lowest gear and kept turning the crank! Toward the top, switchbacks helped breakup the climb.
Maybe two-thirds of the way up, a small water pool, Crater Lake, sits off to the side of the road. A few teens and their program counselor were already there fishing or swimming when Nate rode up beside them. Michael arrived to Nate a asking “Do you want to go for a swim?”
The water was perhaps 45°, fresh from the melting snow and mountain streams feeding it. Nate did eventually jump in, and immediately back out. Michael passed after wading in up to his knees and feeling how cold the water really was.
We finished the climb to Teton Pass in about an hour and 45 minutes (1:45), then zipped down the western side. We both reached more than 40 mph on the 10%-grade descent!
At the base we crossed into Idaho, then soon arrived at our destination in Victor.
We thoroughly enjoyed our evening chatting with Kate and Kevin, and Kate’s mom, who joined us for dinner.
They’re avid outdoors people, multisport athletes, and adventurous world travelers–so we all had a lot to talk about! And they love dogs, so clearly they’re awesome people. (They have two Brittanys, Tashi and Hoss. Cute pups.)
For dinner, they grilled out (tenderloin, corn on the cobb) and served a salad with greens and vegetables from their gardens. Kate’s homemade pesto was delicious! And melon and berries were a refreshing summer dessert.
We can’t thank Kevin and Kate enough for sharing their home with us for the night! It’s been wonderful meeting them and sharing stories!
As we went to bed, a thunderstorm began pouring rain outside. We’ll see in the morning whether it has any impact on tomorrow’s ride.
Check out the Relive video.