Day 52+ 53 (July 19th/20th 2016) Jackson Hole WY – Ashton ID; 70 miles

We said our final farewells to the beautiful, but windy, WY and said our first hellos to Idaho, but only for today. We are deviating from the established TransAm route due to the fact that organized tour groups cannot ride through Yellowstone, so adjustments had to be made. We are in ID tonight, only to leave and return to it down the road. It was a warm welcome at first, with tailwinds, however, ID didn’t want us to get too comfortable, as the winds changed quickly to head winds. As we rode through the farmlands, we were able to see the Grand Tetons from the back. They’re much more grand from the front, but still beautiful nonetheless.

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We left WY via Teton Pass, a 5.5 mile 10% grade mountain in which we gained 2500’. It is by far the longest and steepest pass we have encountered this entire trip. Even though it sounds harsh and exhausting, it was actually my favorite climb of the trip. We were on a paved bike trail the whole way up, completely segregated from the busy road. We had amazing views of the valley that provided an excellent distraction. Plus having fresh legs from yesterday’s off day was a welcome bonus. The descent from the pass was unfortunately not on a bike path and we had to brave the steep curving roads with the traffic. Luckily we all made it in one piece.

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Yesterday’s off day was much needed. We slept in till late (10 am!) and explored the city. Some of the crew went white water rafting, and at night Ten’s aunt invited us for dinner. I declined the offer, and instantly regretted it when those who went told us about it. The house they went to was in between Judge Judy and Harrison Ford’s vacation homes! The pictures of the house were unbelievable. There was also a valley wide power outage due to a substation going out, so the whole city was without power during peak dinner time. Locals said power never goes out, so no businesses had backup generators. Almost all the businesses were closed, and I was on a ravenous quest for dinner. We finally found the one place in Jackson Hole that had a backup generator and gas stoves. We devoured dinner and as soon as we paid the bill the power was restored. There was a town wide deafening cheer from hungry folks thrilled by the turn of events.

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Tomorrow we head into Montana where we’ll have another rest day!

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