Monday, 5 July 2010

Idaho Falls to Jackson Hole (yes, really!!!)

I set my alarm for 04:45 and woke just before it went off.  There is something completely unnatural about going to sleep in daylight and getting up when it is dark. Those of us who had asked to load our luggage early got a flyer and I set my record for the trip so far as it was 19.1 miles before I was overtaken. We had to do some detours from the original route due to roadworks but the team had them all sorted and I was happy to arrive at the first SAG stop having averaged 14mph.  I knew things would slow down from then on as we were heading for the mountains.
We also had to take care as the insertion of rumble strips on the road meant less room for us.
We had a nice 2 mile downhill ride after the SAG and I stopped to take another couple of pictures of the Snake River.

The scenery was beautiful as we pulled into the service station at the 48 mile mark to fill our bottles before we set off on the climb to Pine Creek Summit. Unfortunately,I think it had been several months since the outside PortaLoos had been emptied. Yeeuch!!!

I arrived at the summit in better time than I expected but still after having been overtaken by almost all the group (nothing new there then!).

The reason I am looking so happy is because having made it, I had forgotten the pain of getting there!
A few miles later, we had descended to the town of Victor and stopped at a deli for a bowl of pasta to fortify myself for the big climb ahead.  As I got round the next corner, I realised I had made the wrong choice for nourishing food!
Grumpy's Goat Shack looks like the place to be and I am sure that a large bowl of Moose Drool would have been at least as good as porridge. Hot buns might have been nice too!!!
As we started to climb and climb and climb, we entered Wyoming.

I wonder if a Bob Jackson bike has ever been here before?
The scenery started to get better and better and the climbing began to get a little serious.
The section at 10% lasted for the 3 miles to the summit.  Adding to the complications were the gusty winds and my very slow speed of 3mph.  I got round one corner to find a gale blowing in my face so I had to get off and walk for a bit then around another corner, the wind launched itself at me from the side and it was Shanks's Pony again for a bit until I had a tailwind again.  The following pic gives some idea of what it was like.

But when we arrived at the top,boy was it worth it!!!
The next thing I had to contend with was the temptation to do a high speed down several miles of 10% gradient but the combination of the wind, traffic, twisting road and a narrow shoulder meant the brakes were applied much oif the time although I did have the great satisfaction of exceeding the speed limit at the bottom of the hill but then I had to stop and take a photo of the spectacular view to my left.
I then came upon some birds nesting on top of a telegraph pole.

The one on the lower spar had just made a kill I think.  Ron, any ideas what they might be???
Lastly, the hotel had a novel way of storing their supply of pens.
That accounts for the most climbing I have ever done in a single day and I am delighted to have survived the experience.  We have a similar day tomorrow with slightly lower gradients and apparently even more spectacular scenery.
Today's Stats.
Mileage - 92.1
Time in saddle - 9 hrs 13 mins
Climbing - 5500 feet
Average Speed 10 mph.

1 comment:

  1. I'll beat Ron to it by identifying the birds as ospreys. Beautiful birds - fish eaters.
    You are doing a great job hope you are enjoying the experience - maybe you could make it annual trip??!! Sorry Irene.