Updated: Feb 4
Day 34 06/24/22
Before we get to today I need to finish up last nights saga. After setting up camp and taking showers we spent most of the evening in the clubhouse writing the blog and waiting for the wind to die down. We had a good 15 mile to 20 mph wind blowing around the campground which blew half of the Sahara into our tent. Fine dust clung to our ground pads and sleeping bags like powdered sugar on my favorite swedish pancakes. Sarah shook all of that out of the tent the best she could while I cooked dinner in the club house. After dinner we waited for the heat to abate and the sun to go down in order to go to bed in our tent. The clock struck 9:00 and in we went while the wind was still blowing. After we both fell asleep we were broadsided by some heavy wind which we thought was going to take our tent apart at the seams. Sarah said, "let's move into the club house," which I shrugged off as non-starter until the wind kept coming and it became my idea. Suddenly, it was all hands on deck. At 9:45 we were breaking camp and moving all of our gear during a wind storm so we could get a goods nights sleep. After all the effort we indeed got some sound winks of slumber but morning came early as the race was on to beat the wind.
The day started off with a low breeze outside. Ate some chokemeal, banana bread and a banana and some coffee. All was well, a beautiful day in fact. We stopped about 10 miles out of town at a closed cafe and found a bench to sit on.
Bob and Chris pulled up and we chatted a bit and they moved on and we followed. We took another break for a quasi lunch at a rest stop around 30 miles. A man walked by with his dog and in a curious fashion asked us, "Is this your Summer project, a type A vacation?", Sarah replied, "It is better than building a deck." That led to some deeper discussion as we pedalled down the road. At 50 miles we came to our campground, Beaver Creek, under sunny skies. The sign at the entrance said 1/2 mile. I don't know what the Forest Service uses to measure distance but it must be broken. That last half mile seemed more like two and uphill. The camphost had us wait a half hour before he could figure out a spot available. It was just after noon and the skies suddenly darkened. We got to our site just in time before the heavens opened and the thunder roared. We wondered what happened to the spandex amigos (Jake, Andy, Brandon) because they never showed up. We laid down in our tent and slept for four hours while it poured outside. Woke up to our tent being splashed by a car driving by. We had no other choice then to set up our tent next to the road. Unfortunately a pot hole was 10 feet away and every time a car went by our tent got drenched by water. I remedied the situation by putting a log in front of the hole so people would have to drive around it. Bob came over and visited for a while and then we ate and called it a day.
We rode 50 miles today
Day 35 06/25/22
Could not have had a colder, wetter morning to wake up to. We both were shivering as we packed our wet tent, ground tarp and sleeping bags and pads at 6:00am. I am sure it inspires the reader to say, "Hey, that sounds like fun!" We were on the road by 7:00 and only had 25 miles to West Yellowstone for a long awaited breakfast. We ate at Little Bear Pancake House and then debated about getting groceries. Groceries are a double edge sword, what you buy you have to lug up the inclines so you choose wisely. Our plan was to enter Yellowstone and camp at the Madison Campground which is 14 miles inside of the park. Boy O boy we had a rude awakening when we got to the gate. Madison was not open and the next campground (Grant Village) was another 41 miles, crossing the Continental Divide three times. At this point we had a good dose of a Tempertandem (see first page of our website.) I texted the bad news to Bob and Chris who were a mile behind us.
Rifling through our limited options we chose to go for it and head to Grants Village. It was 1:00pm when we left the Yellowstone entrance. We stopped for a few breaks and made it to Old Faithful by 3:00pm. Ice cream and a hot dog were sorely needed. Before ordering our (junk) food we pulled out our tent, rainfly and ground tarp and hung them out on a railing in front of the concessions. We have lost all sense of manners by now. After lunch I went into the sporting goods store and picked up some more gas for our stove and some M&M's. As I was checking out the young guy in front of me demanded that he pay for my stuff. He was a cyclist and understood the challenges. I thanked him and once again felt humbled by peoples generosity. We got pedalling again at 4:30pm. Soon after, we saw a sign that said, "Motorcycles Ride with Extreme Caution." The potholes were like landmines but more sinister terrain lay ahead. We came around a corner on a downhill doing 25 mph when suddenly the road turned to large gravel and ruts. I could hear Sarah from behind saying (yelling) slow down as she was getting ready to meet Jesus. It was too late and I told her to hold on. We plowed and bumped and bucked our way in a cloud of dust only to safely arrive 100 yards later a few beats short of a heart attack. It was then and just then, that we both had remembered seeing some cones right before the turn and dismissed them as more potholes. At that point we had nothing left in the tank but the added adrenaline which helped us make it to the campground by 7:00pm. Upon arrival we ran into the Spandex Amigos. We were surprised to see them. They rode in the rain the day before and found a hostel in West Yellowstone. It was great to see them again because their trip ends in Jackson Hole. If you read this post, Jake, Brandon and Andy, it was fun to interact with you guys. Stay the course with your kids and love your wives. F.Y.I. we ran into the Brits this morning at breakfast. And bravo for giving me the trail name, "Yosemite Sam." I can see the resemblance. We got to our campground and pitched the tent. One of the rangers came by and told us about a recent grizzly sighting. On his phone he had a pic of a recent paw print and then proceeded to tell us how to lock ourselves in a bear box in case one shows up. A bear box is where you store your food to keep the bears from getting it.
No worries on getting out, they have an inner release latch once the bear decides he is done qscaring the poop out of you. I don't know about you but does it make sense to hide in a big lunch box where you store your food? We took showers; mine was fantastic but Sarah's was cold which didn't help in the hours to come. The night was the coldest we had experienced so far. We put on extra layers of everything but Sarah could not stay warm and I struggled a bit. One caveat, we entered Wyoming today only one state away from Colorado.
Rode 80 miles today.
Day 36 06/26/22
We are taking a day off today to relax, rest and do laundry. This morning we slept in not wanting to face the cold. We were just plain tired. I finally had to get up and use the boys room. Putting on my shoe sent my toes into freezing shock but I pressed on to the restroom. I made a discovery while I was in there. On the wall was a handwarmer and with the push of a button magic happens and heat is dispensed. I know it is technically a hand warmer but I slipped off my shoe and placed it under the nozzle and bingo, I had an instant shoe warmer. It was glorious!
With both shoes smoking hot I went outside and told Sarah about my discovery. Having barely finished my sentence, she ran into the bathroom to use the shoe warmer. If I only learn one thing on this trip is that the shoe warmer is money! We decided to get breakfast at the Grant Village Restuarant. It was all you can eat and we ate and ate and ate. While sitting there the two Brit cyclists (Tim and John) that I mentioned above, walked in. We had heard about these guys for weeks through the bubble gossip but had never met them. We introduced ourselves as the tandem team whom they also had been hearing about. After breakfast we went to the general store and bought Sarah a blanket and I bought a pair of socks. We hope to sleep better tonight. The rest of the day we slept, did laundry, ate ice cream and met more cyclists. Martin, from Germany, had ridden all the way from New York. He had many great stories.
Another man was from D.C. and we weren't quite sure what his story was. Tomorrow, it starts all over again.
Day 37 06/27/22
Sarah had a warm night of sleep with her new blanket. On the other hand, I was a little cold but my new socks kept my feet warm. We treated ourselves to breakfast at the Grant Village Restuarant (again) and got on the road around 8:00am. The weather was perfect and we road out of Yellowstone and thru the Grand Teton National Park. Our pictures hardly do it justice but at least you can see what I can't describe. While we were sitting outside a gas station, Sarah complimented a guy about his moustache. Suddenly we were getting schooled on moustache grooming and care. He informed us that he just won his category at the Great American Beard and Moustache Championship. He had quite the moustache and we got a pic with him.
It was just a full day of beautiful riding. We ended up staying at Hatchett Resort in their hostel. We need to get cracking early tomorrow because we have to cross the second highest pass of trail.
Rode 57 miles today
Day 37 06/28/22
Left the Hatchet resort at 6:15 to get over the pass as early as possible. It was 18 miles of uphill but manageable. The weather was clear and the temperature was cool but not freezing. Within the first mile we came to a sign that said, "Bears on the road stay in vehicle." Right away that brought about a great sense of comfort. Now we kept our eyes out for cars and bears. Thankfully we only saw scat throughout the day. At mile 8 we found a nice lodge open and we ducked in there for some food and coffee. It was nice to take a break on their front porch before we took off and crossed the summit.
It was miles of downhill and incredible scenery all the way to the city of Dubois. We got here just after lunch and rode straight to the Post Office to pick up the part for our bike that we had shipped. Because we both got little sleep in the hostel last night we decided to get a room at the Roadway Motor Lodge. After we checked in I put the new part on our bike and did a tuneup. Planning to get a pizza and head off to dinner.
Road 58 miles today.