Most of you know Matt or myself and it’s fair to say that we both have a positive outlook on life. My oldest daughter Amy has a saying that applied to our ride today, “Don’t Ick my Wow”. Which in essence is, I’m going to have a good time and I don’t want you bringing me down if you’re not going to have a good time. When Matt and I woke up this morning, the weather had turned and it was in the low 50’s and a good chance of afternoon thunder showers. Additionally, there had been a forest fire close to where we were riding and the smoke was very noticeable. Finally, to end the day, our new support drivers had a little challenge navigating the roads of Grand Teton National Park and left Matt and I standing at the side of the road for a while. Guess what, none of it mattered. Nothing was going to “Ick our Wow” and put a damper on our ride through Grand Teton National Park. We had a great ride and ended it laughing over beers and nacho’s at the Flagg Ranch with Bob and Marilyn as we relived the comedy of errors that lead to the delay in the pickup.
Matt and I had a nice easy day planned which began with a whole 1 mile ride to the Jackson Hole Roasters Coffee House for a cup of coffee and scone. We then rode another 13 miles to Moose Junction to meet Bob, Marilyn, Danica and Maggie for breakfast at Dornan’s (you didn’t really think coffee and a scone was breakfast did you?). Matt’s Mom and Dad had eaten breakfast at Dornan’s 18 years ago on their ride across America and I’m pretty sure it still the same. If you’re ever in Jackson it’s definitely worth the trip up to Moose Junction for breakfast (sorry Brenda, Amy, Eric and Sarah that I didn’t take you there 14 year’s ago when we were here). The setting is outdoor picnic benches on a grass knoll looking at the Teton’s. Plus all you can eat sourdough pancakes and a bottomless cup of coffee and you can’t beat it.
After our wonderful breakfast it was on to Jenny Lake. Danica and Maggie had rented bikes in Moose Junction and became the 5th and 6th riders to join Matt and our ride across America. We saw a moose from a distance and enjoyed the 7.5 mile ride up to Jenny Lake. Once there we parted ways as the girls were going to go hiking around the lake and Matt and I were going to ride another 35 miles through Grand Teton National Park. Today was one of those days were a picture wasn’t going to truly capture what we were seeing. First, the image of what you’re seeing is just too big. Fortunately we have wonderful mental images. Second, the smoke from the Moran fire put a haze in front of the Tetons which you’ll notice in the pictures. If you’ve never seen the Grand Tetons, it’s hard to explain how dramatic the mountains are. In the Sierra’s (which I love) we have foothills which lead to the lower mountains and finally to the peaks. The Grand Tetons seem to shoot straight up from the valley floor to the heavens.
Anyway, we had a beautiful ride past Jenny Lake, the Tetons, Jackson Lake and finally to the border of Yellowstone. I should point out that Jenny Lake is a special place in the Dittmore family. My grandfather had worked as an auditor at the Jackson Lake Lodge and my great-grandmother ran the gift shop at Jenny Lake. I had stayed with my parents in a Tent Village when I was 2 years (until bears came and they put us in a cabin). I can still remember the picture my parents have of me at Jenny Lake when I was two. Year’s later my parents went back with my brother Cliff while I was in college and he caught a large trout which they had cooked at the lodge for dinner. It was fun riding around the lake thinking about all my family history at this spot.
At the end of our ride we had a great lunch and a few beers at Flagg Ranch while waiting for Bob and Marilyn. On our drive back it started to rain and we felt fortunate to have been done before the rains came. Matt and I certainly felt for the other riders we saw who had their bikes loaded down with all their gear and were going to be camping. Certainly another level of adventure, but Matt and I are happy with the one we’re on. We also had a couple of animal encounters, first with a herd of Elk and then a herd of Buffalo. You can always tell when you’re approaching an animal sighting as there are dozens of cars pulled off on the side of the road snapping pictures. Of course since we’re on vacation we just joined them. We then all had our final dinner at the condo before Danica and Maggie leave us tomorrow. Matt and I can’t thank them enough for taking 10 days from their lives to help us in our dream to ride across America. We now all share a special bond as they were the one’s who were their to support us as we were figuring out how to do this. We ended up needing more support than we thought we would going into the trip and they were always there with a smile on their faces asking what they could do to help us. Thanks so much!!!
Finally, today marked 25% of the time we’re going to be gone (15 of 60 days). During that time we’ve ridden 28.3% of the planned miles and 34.4% of the planned elevation. Gotta admit, it’s nice to have all that climbing done!
Matt at Jenny Lake.