Well what a momentous long day! We have another big day of climbing for us tomorrow so need to get sleep. Supper and RAP were scheduled later than usual in case there were delayed riders. Then RAP ended up with a huge discussion on biking safety (a rider took a rather serious fall coming down off the Teton Pass ..but more on that later.)
We left our hotel before 6:30 with the sun rising in our faces. The city of Idaho Falls is much bigger than I thought because we biked through suburbs for close to 10 miles. We took route 26 out-of-town . Decent road but it had rumble strips. We turned off and followed Route 31 for a while – nice rural road and then, in Victor, Idaho turned onto Route 33 /22 for our trip into Wyoming and Jackson. The ride for the first 50 miles was very pleasant … many of you may laugh, but I think biking on hills is my favorite. I felt great today (had my old seat back) and I think I just love the change in position and focus.
It was a steep climb to our 2nd SAG stop at mile 59 and the tarred stone pavement was back until we reached Wyoming at mile 71. we had long since shed our sleeves and the noon temperatures were creeping into the 80’s.
Oh well, only 18 miles to Jackson, Hole! ONLY 18 miles … when 6.6 were 10% grades … Holy cow was that road long and steep. But we prevailed. Made it up after several stops to drink, drink, drink and for me catch my breath. I know I have altitude issues when we hike so I was not too worried just needed to huff & puff. quivery when we arrived at the summit of Teton Pass … 8,431 feet! A couple of ABB alumni were up there cheering for us and had cold water and gingerbread cookies (HUGE gingerbread cookies!) They were very friendly and informative about Jackson where they now live.
Leaving Eastern Idaho and entering Wyoming was just beautiful … We had clear weather and between the two of us took almost 100 photos. The lush green fields turning into green forested mountain passes with the huge sharp-edged Tetons in the foreground … and we are told the tomorrow will be even better … I guess that is what gets us up each morning … No picture, but one of our first vistas on entering Wyoming was a corral of horses. Not stereotypical. As I mentioned earlier one of the riders crashed coming down the 5 mile 10% grade today; a physician from Virginia. We were told to treat the downhill with respect – watch the steepness and there tended to be cross winds and road changes from truck traffic. He got into a wobble and laid his bike down – went across the road. Apparently lots of road rash and a broken pelvis and sacrum. Yesterday as many folks were sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for their rooms to be ready a fellow from Ohio passed out. They called 911 and he ended up having a quadruple bypass last evening. Never had any known cardiac issues but … And, our ride leader on Saturday was changing a flat tire on one of the vans … it was off on the edge of the road but a lug nut he was trying to tighten came back at him, he fell over, onto his ankle and broke it. By the time we finished our ride he was at the hotel and will continue (but no biking for him … ) So hopefully this string of unfortunate occurences ends today. It is a bit dispiriting, but then again … most of the folks here are “living for today.” Do it while you can … Debra, the worry wart, will do everything to help keep us safe … including getting a good night’s sleep!