When there is a will there is a way. We got up and left probably the earliest we’ve had all trip. We were 115 miles out from Jackson and our good buddies Chris and Jeff were getting into Jackson today. If we made it, we would have made it from Seattle to Jackson in 13 days, ahead of schedule and allowing us to overlap with our friend’s trip exactly.
From Island Park, our first stop was Ashton. I felt good for the most part of this early ride until the climb into Ashton, where Erik and Ryan definitely had more in the legs. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten an entire bag of Doritos, ramen, and multiple snack packs the night before. So they got a good lead into Ashton, where I met them at a gas station to get some snacks and water.
From Ashton, having 40 miles down already, our next way point was Driggs, ID, 39 miles through rolling potato fields, millions of grass hoppers with the mountains in the foreground. I took off a head of Erik and Ryan, still not feeling great. They caught me about 45 minutes into the ride and I eventually met them in Felts about 7 miles before Driggs. Slightly before getting to Driggs, I was on the phone with my buddy Nick who lives in Jackson, letting him know our ETA, when what I believe were two Australian Shepherds ran out into the road, barking, growling and essentially hunting me down. The one started to try and bite my foot while I was pedaling. At one point I found myself in the middle of the road, doing about 20mph with this dog in tow, with cars coming in both directions, oh yeah and holding my phone up with one hand. The lead dog eventually gave up. I got to Driggs and waited at the gas station we had agreed upon. When Ryan and Erik showed up the first thing Ryan asked was if I threw my sunscreen at those dogs. I didn’t realize it, but it had fallen off my back rack and exploded over the road. They had a similar encounter that resulted in Ryan having to decide how bad it would be if he kicked the dog to get him away, he didn’t have to though, but it was a definitely one of the more intense moments for us both on the bikes.
From Driggs it was another 8 miles to Victor from which we would start our climb to the top of Teton Pass and our highest point of the trip. Victor is at 6,200 feet and the pass is just over 8,400. It’s not the most elevation change we’ve encountered but much of the climb is at 10 degree grade and if you stop pedaling then you either fall over or start going backwards then fall over.
It rained a little bit on the way up, but we were able to stop and get a good photo in front of the Welcome to Wyoming sign before continuing up to the top, where just after Erik and I’s arrival, our buddies Mike and Chris showed up with beers. We got to cheer Ryan on for the last stretch of his trip, got some great photos in and got ready for an awesome descent into Jackson, averaging over 40mph the whole way down. When we got to the base of the pass in Wilson, the skies decided to finally really open up and we did the last 6 miles in a down pour. We could have cared less, 115 miles was my second biggest day and Erik and Ryan’s largest and we had beat our buddy Jeff into town.
We got settled at our good friends Mike and Steve Colby’s house, got dried off and got ready to enjoy a full down week in Jackson, WY.