Day 16 - Jackson to Dubois WY
Mileage: 53 miles
Weather: Mid 50s to start. Upper 60s to end. Winds were strong and at our backs.
Highlights of the day:
It was wet first thing this morning so our day was delayed a bit. It’s not that we don’t ride in the rain but if the opportunity to avoid starting all wet presents itself, we’ll take it. The rain blew through and we were left with partly to mostly cloudy day with a kickin’ tailwind.
We started today off with a shuttle through Teton National Park. Using our 3 vans and two scheduled shuttle runs, we were able to get our entire tour - riders and bikes - up the road to start just outside the park. We all got a good long look at the Tetons on our left from in the vans, unfortunately some low clouds decided to park themselves along the top face of the range. We could still see part of them but, much like Mt Jefferson back in Oregon, they didn’t fully reveal themselves. That said, they are still beautiful. The clouds did break up a bit and we had some good views over our shoulders once we got on our bikes.
The riders headed up almost immediately after they started riding. Today’s high point?Togwotee Pass (pronounced toe’-guh-dee) and the Continental Divide, at 9,650’, the highest elevation for the trip. On paper, this climb was not as difficult as Teton Pass but after 8 days on the bike and 5500’ of climbing yesterday, many riders from years past felt that “gentler ascent” was a real challenge. This group seems to agree.
The wind was our friend today. It pushed us up to the Togwotee Pass (well, sorta). And it made for fast run down off the summit to the hotel. The route is primarily downhill. Add the strong tailwind, many riders talked about spinning with limited effort at 20+ mph. One rider even mentioned that he felt like he cheated, that he didn’t work hard enough. I think general consensus will be that he should not worry too terribly much about that.
These have been two very challenging days. I don’t think getting to sleep will be much of an issue. G’nite!