Biologist on a Bike

Day 25: Colter Bay Campground, Grand Teton, WY to Dubois, WY

6/15/18

Stats:
Distance: 66.35 mi
Average Speed: 11.2 mph; Max Speed: 40.3 mph
Elevation Gain: 3,637 ft
Average Temp: 53.4 F; Temp Range: 41.0 F

Story:

It was a pretty good night. Not too cold, so when my alarm went off it wasn’t that big of a deal to crawl out of the sleeping bag and start the day. I chatted a bit with a few of the other cycle tourers in the campground and hit the road a bit before 8. My maps told me it would be a 75.5 mile day with one big climb of nearly 3,000 feet, so I wanted to get a good start.

Where I woke up, Day 25

The view behind me as I left the campground

As often happens, I stopped several times in the first few hours of riding. First because my front wheel was wobbling worse than it had since day 1 and I wanted to redistribute the weight between the front panniers. I took that opportunity to check to make sure all the bolts were tight and to remove my rain pants which I had worn for the warmth but no longer needed. It was also a good opportunity to take some pictures. All morning long there were some spectacular view of the Teton behind me. Riders approaching from the east will be in for a treat. Riders going the other way, take a few opportunities to turn around and appreciate the view. It’s worth it.

The view would have been even more awesome had the sun been out.

Also while I was stopped, a raven decided to walk up and inspect me. It left after getting a good look, and possibly realizing there was no food being offered.

Hello hooman, you give me foodz?

Then I stopped again this time to completely unpack and repack the two front panniers because the earlier weight redistribution didn’t stop the wobble. The repackaging did, though, thank goodness. And finally, I passed a group of people standing near a spotting scope and stopped to see what had been spotted: a heron in a nest. It was lovely, but a bit too far off for my camera to capture clearly.

Another backwards view

And soon it was time to begin the climb. Halfway up it began to get chilly and I stopped when I passed a lodge to ask for coffee. There was some available for the patrons of the hotel, and the desk clerk directed me that way. Free coffee and a comfy chair to warm up in! Heaven.

It looks a bit like a golf course where there are snow banks instead of sand traps.

Back on the road, the grade wasn’t bad, but the climb was long and the elevation was high. In fact, today is the first day I really felt the elevation having a significant impact on my ride. I had to stop once or twice to catch my breath, and after the second time resolved to limit myself to a lower effort, which made a huge difference. A few hundred feet from the top I had to stop to pull out my down jacket because it was snowing. Not hard, but enough. Brr. And then the top was in view

This is the 5th time I’ve crossed the continental divide.

Togwotee Pass

After that it was downhill the rest of the day. And I mean that almost entirely literally. Except for a few mini hills, it was downhill all the way to Dubois. But downhill plus cold weather equals very cold rider. Even with two pairs of gloves on, my fingers were getting chilled. When I spotted a gift store/restaurant, I pulled in for yet another cup of coffee. (It has been a highly caffeinated kind of day.) I ended up with coffee, a muffin, and a package of skittles and took a seat on the heart in front of an unlit fireplace to eat.

**Politics warning, if you don’t want to read about politics, skip to the next set of asterisks**

 

Then I spotted this.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

Christmas ornaments you can hang, noose and all, from your tree. It would be wrong no matter what political figure they depicted, but it is in particularly bad form to sell something where you can effectively lynch a black man given the US’s history of racial enmity. My only consolation is that they’re old, so they must not have sold very well. Still, it was enough to make me wish I hadn’t spent money in that store.

The people were friendly and helpful, even telling me how to find the church where I planned to spend the night. It’s strange to think about that sort of kindness coexisting with that sort of hatred. The human brain is a strange place.

**Politics over. You may safely resume reading**

 

The cashier also told me that a few minutes earlier a French couple on bikes had stopped in for much the same reason as me, to warm up. I never did catch up with them, and if they stopped in Dubois they’re not staying in the same place I am. I wonder if I’ll see them on the road tomorrow.

This little bird posed right outside the shop

Shortly after stopping to warm up, the temperature outside followed suit and I had to stop to strip off a few layers. From there, though, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way to Dubois (pronounced do-Boys, in case you were wondering), accompanied by some lovely striped cliffs that probably would have been even more striking if the sun had been out.

They remind me a bit of the Painted Hills outside Mitchell, OR.

The St Thomas Episcopal Church is on the eastern end of town, and allows cyclists and hikers to stay in what I would call the fellowship room, although I don’t know if that’s what they call it. There is a fridge, a microwave, a coffee maker, internet, and a toilet. The town has a well-stocked market and there’s a laundromat that also offers showers for anyone who desires. There’s also a place by the laundromat that has a jackalope exhibit. You’ll forgive me if I skipped that one.

Bikes are kept in the “bike jail,” a tiny building next to the church that used to be the town jail. It was built in the depression by the WPA. It amuses me that Erebus is in jail for the night.

Jail cell #1

Jail cell #2

Erebus in the main room of the jail.

The jail itself.

After a visit to the store, I’m stocked up on food and back inside with both internet and electricity at the same time for the first time in days. Huzzah. And I’ll be sleeping indoors. Today has been a good day.

Roadkill count: none

Map Day 25

Map Day 25

13 thoughts on “Day 25: Colter Bay Campground, Grand Teton, WY to Dubois, WY

  1. Elaine

    Amazing pictures and an equally amazing story you have to tell. The jail idea is so creative and funny. I’m enjoying touring the country via your words and your photos, so thank you!

  2. gailw

    Catching up with your adventure. You take the best pictures! It is an amazing journey, and I hope to visit many of the places you are seeing someday. You’re making great progress – thanks for taking us along with the ride!

  3. Suzan Lauder

    The political part was creepy. I wonder if people just think it’s tasteless humour.

    Love the striped hills and the colour of that bluebird. You’ve had lots of good shots on this trip.

  4. Rain

    RAFE!!

    I have been living under a bush for a couple of months and didn’t know you where doing this.
    But I’m here now and will follow though!!
    you truly are an inspiration, I don’t believe I would have the courage to do it.

    Keep it up and I’ll keep on reading about your adventure!

    1. Spin Doctor Post author

      HEY! Long time no chat! I’m glad you’re out from under your bush, and thanks for the kind comments. I hope you enjoy the read.

  5. Leslie Diamond

    In my experience with Episcopal churches, it’s usually a fellowship hall. We’ve never had cyclists living there, though. I’m not sure the British equivalent 😉 You’re making great progress! Stay safe!

  6. BILL WX2DX

    Latest Forecast:

    .TONIGHT…Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy after
    midnight then becoming mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers and
    thunderstorms in the evening, then chance of rain showers after
    midnight. Some thunderstorms may produce small hail, and heavy
    rainfall in the evening. Lows around 47. Chance of precipitation
    30 percent.

    .WEDNESDAY…Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers in the
    morning, then chance of rain showers and thunderstorms in the
    afternoon. Some thunderstorms may produce small hail, and heavy
    rainfall in the afternoon. Highs around 67. Chance of
    precipitation 30 percent.

    .WEDNESDAY NIGHT…Partly cloudy until early morning then
    clearing. Lows around 45.

    .THURSDAY…Warmer. Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming
    partly cloudy. Highs around 81.

    .THURSDAY NIGHT…Partly cloudy in the evening then clearing.
    Lows around 50.

  7. Linda Beutler

    Mountain Bluebird, Sialia currucoides. All over from the Cascades east throughout the Rockies. And the flowers look to have been Camassia quamash. Has a starchy bulb if you get peckish. Not uncommon to see a few white variants amid the blue.

    I’ve been enjoying reading every 2-3 days so I get several blog posts at a time. It’s more immersive for us homebodies.

    Stay well!

  8. BILL WX2DX

    Latest Forecast for Central/Western Wyoming:

    .THURSDAY…
    Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly
    cloudy. Highs 79 to 83.

    .THURSDAY NIGHT…
    Partly cloudy early in the evening then
    clearing. Lows 50 to 54. West winds around 15 mph early in the
    evening.

    .FRIDAY…
    Mostly sunny in the morning, then mostly cloudy with
    scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms in the
    afternoon. Some thunderstorms may produce gusty winds, small
    hail, and heavy rainfall in the afternoon. Highs 72 to 76. West
    winds around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.

    .FRIDAY NIGHT…
    Mostly cloudy with isolated rain showers and
    thunderstorms in the evening, then partly cloudy after midnight.
    Some thunderstorms may produce gusty winds, small hail, and heavy
    rainfall in the evening. Lows 47 to 51. Northwest winds around
    15 mph in the evening. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.

  9. BILL WX2DX

    Forecast for NE Wyoming near Casper:

    Friday
    A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. West southwest wind 8 to 14 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph.

    Friday Night
    A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49. Northwest wind 6 to 14 mph becoming west southwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph.

    Saturday
    A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Sunny, with a high near 77. West southwest wind around 8 mph.

    Saturday Night
    A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. North northwest wind 6 to 9 mph becoming east northeast in the evening.

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