Two National Parks

Hi there…it’s been a while since I posted a note. As you probably have noticed, Steve devoted some time while he was in Bozeman updating his posts on the website. I hope you enjoy gaining his perspective of his trip thus far. It’s great reading about his experiences and seeing some photos from the first 1200 miles, isn’t it?

Steve and I met up in Yellowstone National Park last Wednesday night and spent two nights/two days there. It was fun hiking a trail along the North Rim of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, seeing the falling streaks of water and hearing their thunderous rush over the Upper and Lower Falls as the Yellowstone River plummeted to the canyon below, coming across a mule deer quietly grazing in a meadow, and feeling the pitter-patter of rain drops on our faces! We stayed in the Yellowstone Lake Hotel Annex along Yellowstone Lake so we loved the views of the lake with the Absaroka and Big Game Mountain Ranges beyond the lake and reflecting on the lake’s surface. While in Yellowstone we saw a great deal of wildlife, probably due to the time of year and animal babies becoming more active. We saw bald eagles and their babies in a huge nest, swans, pelicans, two moose, grizzly bears and their youngsters (from a distance), elk and their babies, bison and their little ones, and pronghorn antelope.

On Friday, Johnny B came from Bozeman for breakfast with us and then a 40 mile bike ride with Steve between Lake Village and Canyon Village. Along that route they saw a mother grizzly bear and two cubs. Steve and John are great pals as we used to bike ride together when they lived in Batavia. Needless to say, Steve has enjoyed John’s company for two days of riding in Idaho and Yellowstone.

After spending 2 1/2 days in Bozeman with friends (John & Karen) and family (Laurie, Tom, Allan, & Sean), we headed back to Yellowstone yesterday, June 20. Steve needed to leave from West Thumb in Yellowstone to resume his route. I rode Laurie’s mountain bike the first 22 miles of Steve’s 50 mile ride. It was great to actually be able to ride a few miles with my husband ’cause I don’t know how often I will be able to do so this summer. And I actually rode up Craig Pass, which really got my adrenaline pumping as the road narrowed, traffic continued steadily from both ways, and the shoulder was obsolete in some stretches. I can see why Steve enjoys the slower pace so he can really immerse himself in the surroundings. As I rode along the real rush came on the way down when I was able to get up to 33.5 miles an hour. BUT, the rush quickly ended when a bug flew into my open mouth and lodged at the back of my throat. Yuck, yuck, yuck!! Laurie rode the last 28 miles with Steve and unfortunately had more climbing in elevation than I did. Steve was grateful to have company throughout the day so he could share the views that he’s privileged to at 12 miles per hour.

The ride yesterday wound through Grand Teton National Park and ended at Moran Junction, Wyoming. There is a post office, school, and park ranger residences, but the “town” doesn’t appear to be on most maps. Moran Junction is the intersection of Route 191/89 and Route 26/287. The views of the Grand Tetons along Jackson Lake were breath-taking! Purple lupine, yellow balsaroot and dandelions, flame red Indian paint brush, red California poppies, and white alpine strawberries are all in bloom, creating a palette of colors as well as a sweet scent in the air. Then we drove to Jackson, 30 miles away, to spend the night. It was fun to be in Jackson again after having skied at Jackson Hole in 1987. The little town of Jackson has certainly changed, sporting everything from art galleries to The Gap in its town square area.

This morning I took Steve back to Moran Junction to resume his route on Route 26/287. The route took him up over Togwatee Pass, where he crossed the Continental Divide yet again! He called this evening from a KOA campground in Dubois, Wyoming after riding 56 miles today. It looks like the route is currently following the Wind River. Speaking of wind, wouldn’t it be nice to have the wind at his back? Unfortunately he’s heading southeast and more than likely the wind could be coming right at him or as a cross wind. The temperatures are beginning to heat up so he may miss those cooler days of Oregon and Idaho.

After seeing Steve off on his journey, Laurie, Allan, Sean, and I left Jackson and rode up over Teton Pass into Idaho so that we could drive up the west side of the Teton Mountain Range. First we made a snack-attack stop at the Emporium in Victor, Idaho where we couldn’t pass up Huckleberry ice cream treats. Yum, yum. We highly recommend tasting huckleberries some time.

The views of the Tetons were magnificent from both sides. They are certainly impressive and rugged mountains. It was fascinating to see how they slowly changed as the light changed over the course of the day…particularly when we ran into a terrible thunder and lightning storm this afternoon. Seeing the Grant Teton itself and knowing that Tom and Laurie have climbed it just reaffirms that I won’t make that attempt!!

Tomorrow I head back home for a few days. It’ll be nice to see Jeremy, Stephanie, and our little old kitty, Zaney. Hopefully I’ll have some time to upload some photos from my digital camera as well. I filled one disc already!! You all take care~~Diane

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