It is always so difficult to leave these wonderful places like Jackson Montana! Small town hospitality! Sitting outside on the patio watching the odd truck or car go by and chatting with new friends, its the best! We had a great meal, got a good night's sleep, and felt rested after the difficult last 20 miles of yesterday afternoon.
An absolutely beautiful start to the day today, blue sky, sunshine and the road to ourselves! Our first pass was about 13 miles ahead of us, Big Hole Pass our tallest one so far. The good news is we were already at about 6,300ft and our pass ahead is 7,400 ft with 13 miles to get to the top. Great pedalling and then the wind we knew was coming arrived, fairly strong from the southeast. We were headed east and as we struggled along and looked ahead could clearly see the road take a nice curve as it ascended the last mile but it would be into the wind. I was hoping (and praying) that the wind might be stalled a bit by the actual mountain. Not so lucky today! The wind was so wicked and strong and right into our faces! So head down, one foot over the top found my "groove" and just kept going. Almost a complete stop between each pedal rotation, just hoping the wind wouldn't push us backwards!
We made it! At least the really hard part was only the last few miles and we made it!!! And then it was down we went! Not too far down and then up again! The last climb today Badger Pass only 6,700 feet! Now we had lost the wind altogether. Much easier to ride, but the mosquitoes are back!! Good reason to keep pedaling! Up and over and that was it for us for the day as far as climbing. The rest as they say is all downhill!
It was all downhill but not without its challenges as we got to the last 10 miles before Dillon and our headwind returned. It was a struggle, the wind just sucks all your energy, don't know how these racers do it!
We had reservations in Dillon because we were going to meet special friends here for a few days! Unfortunately those plans wer changed, (miss you Dan and Inez!!) but we kept our reservations. The forecast for tomorrow is for. . . . SNOW!!!!! Seriously . . .snow anticipated about 6,000ft. We are currently about 5,000 ft but as soon as we get on the road we start climbing and will be at 6,000ft before the end of the day. In fact we keep going up as we approach Yellowstone! That's right YELLOWSTONE!! don't you just love the sound of that, we are going to bicycle thru Yellowstone National Park. There are many challenges with that! We will be crossing The Continental Divide 3 times all over 8,000 ft and then The Tetons at 9,000! But first we have to get past the forecasted snow.
A little different sort of dinner tonight. Because we are just flat out exhausted from the heat and wind tonight, we went to Safeway grocery store and bought yummy things as well as a giant beer for Mike and wine for me and hung out in our room!
We did see a few more racers today! 2 guys at the top of the pass, neither one was in such a hurry that they weren't enjoying things a little more than the previous racers we met! these guys have so much speed, Mike and I were just riding along and the next thiing I knew another racer was right next to me! We chatted and rode and then he sped off. It seems like the further they get in the pack the less they are concerned with doing over 200 miles per day. I guess I forgot to mention the racer we met at the top of Lost Trail Pass, he was suffering miserably with an upper respiratory infection! And he told us about a racer that had to drop out because he came down with pneumonia! It is just incredible the amount of endurance displayed, and most of them seem to thrive on it!! Each one has ZERO body fat, carrying minimal supplies or water and just keep riding! It is so exciting to be in the line of travel as we get to meet so many different people!
I guess that is all for tonight. Hope you enjoy the photos. Honestly the views are just so expansive and enormous, it is hard to do it justice! But want to try and "suggest" the changes in scenery as we move along.
Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings! Snow??