Lander CO to West Yellowstone MT (Days 61-67, 315 miles/3133 miles total)
Day 61 4th of July
Our 4th of July started with pancakes hot from the griddle, complements of Jennie, to celebrate the day. Tom and I rode downtown after breakfast to watch the parade. It was a classic small town parade, with over 100 entries. About one third of the entrees were politicians, which was about one third more than I would like to see! There were a number of Native American entries from the Shoshone and Arapaho Nations.
Lander has a unique way of ending their parades. After all the floats had passed by the announcers’ stand, all of the fire trucks stopped in a tight bunch and started spraying water up in the air. This was a sign for all of the local kids and adults to run to the area to get completely soaked under the downpour. What a fun way to end a parade.
Another unique Lander custom is that on the 4th of July, there are no laws restricting the private use of fireworks. All fireworks are fair game, including the big ones that shot off from a heavy gage pipe driven into the ground. During the day, local residents told us that it was not uncommon for many of the Lander residents to spend thousands of dollars on the big stuff. As dusk arrived, we were treated to a city-wide light show, with huge explosions taking place all across the town. Our tents were set up on a bluff overlooking the town, so we probably had the best viewing site possible. I watched until about 10pm, at which point I put in ear plugs and got some sleep.
Day 63-64 Grand Tetons and 3000 Miles
Our route allowed us to spend two days in the Grand Tetons National Park. The second day’s ride paralleled the east face, which is by far the most dramatic and rugged. This was my first time visiting the park and seeing the mountains. What a treat.
Just before entering Jackson, we passed the 3000 mile mark. We took a picture commemorating the achievement at the Jackson City Square.
Day 66-67 Teton Pass, a Moose, and Idaho
We left Jackson and immediately ascended Teton Pass via the Old Pass Road, which is now a bike path. The grade was 10% and took about an hour to climb. On my way, I was lucky enough to pass a moose as he browsed along the bike path.
A few miles down the other side of the pass we entered Idaho.
I have never seen this part of Idaho before, so it was interesting to ride along side Idaho potato fields that are it’s claim to fame. We camped in Ashton ID (seed potato capitol of the world), and rode to West Yellowstone MT the next day. Looking forward to two days off, and a tour of Yellowstone Park.