STATS Day: 19 Day Mileage: 59.9 Total Miles: 1,085.8
I only woke up once to a dream where a bear growled (roared? bear’d?) outside of my tent and I internally screamed but couldn’t make noise otherwise and then I woke up. You know what sounds like footsteps or animals walking about, one’s pulse beating against a Micro Puff jacket’s material. The quieter you are the louder that “footstep” gets. After that dream, I slept incredibly well waking up as I do to rotate. That happens when sleeping on a single person sleeping pad, travel pillow and mummy sleeping bag. It just does. The temps were cool but not as cold as it was in Wisdom, MT for my first frost. I had prepared for cold and slept in tights, pants, wool long sleeve ….
Whoa! A fox walked up on me as I sit and write this.
…. and micro puff jacket and beanie. I got warm throughout the night to be honest.
I made coffee and ramen for breakfast and packed up. It’s still getting easier to pack as my system becomes more and more routine. Only take 2 1/2 weeks. On my way out, I stopped at Mike’s campsite and stood by their fire for a little bit. I was cycling in pants, t-shirt, rain jacket to cut the wind and a buff. One thing with cycle touring is that when you get to camp, it’s hard to make a fire. One being the wood, but the other being you have a limited number of clothes. They already stink. And whatever you normally sleep in (the cleaner of the bunch) you don’t want smelling like a fire. Or at least I don’t. So I took advantage of someone’s else before leaving for the day.
I had one climb out of the campground to the Continental Divide, but it was gradual and not near the elevation change from previous days so that was welcomed. From there is was just easy pedaling around Lewis Lake to the south entrance of Yellowstone. Traffic was noticeably light but there was still traffic. It seemed not as many people were rushed (read: assholes) to exit the park as they were to get to Old Faithful yesterday. Again, welcomed. There is a 5 mile stretch outside of Yellowstone called the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Highway Rabies Awareness Race For the Cure Fun Run that I didn’t know existed nor do I know the reasoning. I’ll need to look it up. After it, I was in Grand Teton National Park.
I was most excited for today. Today is why I went on this trip to begin with. I wanted to see the Grand Tetons. The pictures looked incredible and the mountains impressive. I should have picked an easier way to see the, I suppose but today was going to be the day that I saw the Grand Tetons for the first time. They did not disappoint. As I made my way down JDRJRARFTCFR I saw my first glimpse of real granite faced mountains. Not knowing what I was looking toward, I made a few turns and began my way around Jackson Lake and then approached a turnout: my first look at the Tetons. Sheesh. Incredible. I stopped took pictures and then kept going around Jackson Lake to Colter Bay Village where I’m glad I stopped.
It was a mile off route to Colter Bay but I was able to grab a drink and some snacks while sitting on Jackson Lake looking out to the Tetons. Families were swimming and having a great time as I took in everything. I was able to check in with everyone and speak to Megan as I had connection for the first time since West Yellowstone before going the last 19 miles to Jenny Lake.
I pulled off at almost all the turnoffs to take pictures and slowly made progress toward camp for the night. I stopped one last time at Signal Mountain Lodge where I had a late lunch and needed a break just 8 miles short of Jenny Lake because of brutal headwinds. Taking on the last 8 miles were made easier thanks to the views riding directly into the Tetons making their size even more impressive as they come out of the earth seemingly out of nowhere.
Once I arrived at a Jenny Lake Campground, I set up camp. Paid my $12 for the night and changed out of my cycling gear and immediately jumped in the water. My first lake shower. It was such a nice temperature. Cold but once in, perfect. I swam for a bit, chatted with a woman who did research for the University of Nebraska in Omaha. After the swim, I made my way to camp and was asleep early, before 9pm.