(In my riding 17 days, I pedaled 1447 miles with 61,600 feet of climbing)
Bob Long took this on one of many dozens of stops I made to take a photo of the Tetons during our run-up to their base.
Yet another photo, but you can see we are getting closer.
At mile 54, we entered the National Park! About a mile later, we had a rest stop so that we could all gather together to enter the park at once to pay a single (big) fee. While waiting, I called FedEx to schedule my bike-box pick up the next day from our Jackson Lake Lodge.
After we entered the park we had only a few miles to reach our day's destination. However, I elected to ride south on Teton Park Road to view Jackson Lake (photo above) and on to Jenny Lake at the very base of Grand Teton Peak. The views continued to get sharper and more impressive as I got closer during my 15-mile ride.
After I stopped to view the scenery midway along Jenny Lake (see top photo in this posting), I continued to the far southern end of the lake where boat excursions departed and the river flowed out under this bridge. The perspective of the Tetons was quite different from here. I was SO glad I decided to ride down here to see so much more of the park and from a different viewpoint. Lots of tourists were there, and many from California welcomed me as a Californian based on my jersey. Fun! (I didn't let on that I now lived in Ohio. haha)
On my way back to the Jackson Lake Lodge, there were many cars parked on the side of the road at a certain spot and sure enough, there was something special to see. In this case, the elk was lying down so all I could see was his head and antlers. Still, very cool! Another cool effect during my ride back was that every time I looked in my large rear-view mirror (which I glance down at ALL the time when I ride), I saw the reflection of the Tetons profile I'd been admiring most of the day.
When it was time for our dinner (my farewell), we all walked from our cabins to the lodge. Those huge windows face the Tetons, and it was a remarkable setting.
Some of our group were outside enjoying a cocktail when I arrived. I took this photo through one of those huge windows facing the mountains.
An unannounced candid shot at our dinner just to illustrate how vast and beautiful our dining room was. It was bittersweet to know I would no longer be on the tour, but I loved my 18 days with them. My prime rib dinner was an excellent finish to fine dining along the way. I haven't checked yet, but I usually GAIN weight on Black Bear Adventure tours because the food Rod prepares for us along the way is so yummy, and the dinners are supreme.
That evening I packed my bike back into the shipping box we had stored away since El Paso, and then I hit the sack. My wake-up call came awfully early, but the taxi got me on time and the driver told me to make sure I had my camera. He knew! Sure enough we saw lots of wildlife on the 33-mile trip to the Jackson Hole Airport.
LOTS of bison all over the place, even crossing our road.
Not only bison, but we saw a big herd of elk, and several antelope.
Now I have 8 days at home before my next tour begins. We will depart Cincinnati on Independence Day and drive our two vans to Front Royal, VA to ride 610 miles south to Cherokee, NC over the following 7 days. I will continue the blog at that time, although as usual, I won't know whether I will be able to post every single night due to varying Internet access out there in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. In the meantime, I am so glad to be back home with Janet.