June 28, 2010 – 54 miles
Started with the normal packing routine this morning. I treated myself with macaroni and cheese for breakfast, though. Mathieu noted that pasta for breakfast makes me a real cyclist.
In the back of my mind I realized that if I wanted to, I could end my trip right here. Throw the bike in the car and drive home – no more saddle sores, no more painful miles, no more uncomfortably cold nights. The same thought came across my mind a few weeks ago when I saw my sister in Como and Frisco. Quitting was never a serious consideration, but such an easy opportunity to do so was…a temptation?
My mom and sister left the campground before we did. I was sad to see them go, but I have to continue on. I guess it is only three or four weeks to Banff. Having made it this far, I’m physically and mentally capable of completing the ride, but I don’t want too think to far ahead.
As I was packing my gear, Auke told me he decided he would ride into Yellowstone to take photos. He’d also ride into Glacer National Park. It was unlikely we’d meet on the route again. I suggested that maybe we’d see each other in Banff or Jasper. But the chances of that are every slim.
I noticed Auke was fiddling with his bike as I continued to pack. I could tell he was killing time and waiting for Mathieu, who was at a computer updating his blog. After a while of Mathieu not returning, Auke decided to leave. Strange that after a month of riding together, he wouldn’t wait to say goodbye. Although they do live relatively close together in the Netherlands. Maybe they’ll catch up then.
Mathieu returned from the his blog updating and I told him we were not a group of two.
Somewhere along the line, Mathieu realized he couldn’t find his map. After a lot of searching, we decided it was gone. He and I would have to stick together for the next few days.
We rode on the RV-filled US 285 for 15 miles out of Colter Bay. I don’t like holding up traffic when riding on busy roads, but after a few very close vehicles I decided taking the lane was necessary for my safety.
We turned onto a dirt road and encountered some short ups and downs. Some of the down sections were extremely rocky. I’m amazed that my bike has made it this far.
Eventually the road turned into a washboardy-gravel road that was ever so slightly downhill. The miles passed surprisingly easy. We rode past some sort of tour group who were riding on horse-drawn Oregon-trail style wagons. One of the guys yelled to us, “You’re doing it the hard way.” That’s right, we are. Proud of it, too!
A few miles down the road, the forest cleared and revealed a view of the backside of the Tetons.
Suddenly, the road turned to pavement. What a great surprise! Soon after, we saw a sign for the Squirrel Creek Guest Ranch – Tour Divide racers welcome! We had to stop by and say hello.
We found the ranch owner mowing his yard. We were welcomed inside and drank a few cold cokes. The place seemed more like a personal house than a guest ranch, so it felt odd being there. Our host offered to turn on the range and make us grilled ham sandwiches, but Cokes were sufficient.
Forest turned to farmland, and it looked like I could be riding in rural Ohio.
A few more miles and we made it to the Warm River Campground. The host of the campground was very friendly and offered us his favorite spot on the property. We settled in for the night.