Monday, July 5, 2010
Day 15 - Idaho Falls, ID to Jackson WY (92 miles)
What a day this was....today we finished up with Idaho, entered Wyoming, and climbed up into the Grand Tetons. After yesterday's E.T. photos, I just had to do a self portrait in the same style.
We said goodbye to the grasslands for now and headed to the mountains for some serious climbing.
The first half of the day we followed the Snake River along the face of the mountains.
Then we made a left turn and started heading towards the hills.
...and headed into Wyoming.
Not the best welcome sign for entering a state.....
Here's a view looking back down the road from one of my very frequent rest stops. The last 2 1/2 miles were so steep, we were stopping every 40-50 yards to catch our breath. At one point I even had to walk my bike some. For those of you in Ar, who ride the park near my house, imagine the first part of the climb up to the overlook.....now make it a bit steeper and 3 miles long. That's what it was like getting up to the summit of Teton Pass.
Finally the bike and I made it to the top. The view (and the really strong wind up there) really takes your breath away. From there you can see into the valley where Jackson is.
Just can't take a bad picture from up here......and they say tomorrow's ride is even more scenic. Hard to believe after today.
Of course what goes up, must come down....and it's a loooong way down. 5 miles of 10% grade downhill, is certainly not for the squeamish (or those afraid of heights). Lots of stories over dinner about the trip down, but Mike and son Matt had the scariest, as they lost the back brake on their tandem on the way down. Luckily everyone in the group safely made it into Jackson. Here's a shot from above, looking down on the road leading down the mountain.
...another nice view from one of the turnouts that I stopped at to let my brakes and back rim cool down.
With all the climbing today, I found myself alone again a good bit with plenty of time to think. Turns out I'm a pretty dull person. Luckily our surroundings out here are so amazing, that you really don't need any other excitement.
Well, tomorrow we cross the continental divide at somewhere over 9000 feet. Mike says that after that it's all downhill to the Mississippi, but I'm not buying it. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes.
Thanks for reading. Look for tomorrow's post. If what they say about the scenery is true, I ought to have a decent pic or 2 to upload.