Day 2 from Victor to a Boy Scout camp near Hoback Junction promised to be much more doable than Day 1 – only about 1,700 feet of climb over 71 miles. AND there was coffee at breakfast that morning!
Not too much text today. The photo captions will speak for themselves.
When we went to wheel out the bike from the bike corral in the morning, another red tandem was parked next to us. Their tandem has couplers, so they can take the frame apart and pack it down for shipping.
We had a decent climb about 3 miles into the ride, so we stopped to strip off our jackets in a random driveway – that just happened to be flanked by signposts containing taxidermied pheasants. Never seen anything like that before!
Heading back into the Targhee for a spell.
Looking at this picture, I can just about smell the pines again.
We hit a little bit of one-lane construction over a bridge. When the light turned green, we let all the cars go first, then followed in a pack. I’m sure the drivers waiting at the opposite stoplight were surprised by the sudden barrage of cyclists coming through.
It was a really beautiful day for a ride. The ripening wheat and alfalfa fields on the flat lands were simply idyllic.
Those cattle are surely oblivious of what a beautiful place they graze in.
All sorts of photo opportunities this morning!
This was my favorite part of the ride – a fast, clean descent into Swan Valley. We hit about 28 mph going down this hill.
What the . . . ? A dog-walking machine? Four dogs were trotting around in a circle, each tethered to an arm of the contraption in the center. The bays of multiple hound dogs sounded in the area. Must be a dog breeder / trainer?
At our rest stop at Swan Valley Custom Chopper, some kiddos were helping prepare the snack of crackers, pepper jelly and feta. There was feta ev-ery-where. It was a very yummy snack, though. We also had cherries.
The face on the side of the garage reflects the feeling I had about those mammatus-type clouds. I’m accustomed to clouds like that being associated with rain and hail.
Oh, dam! That’s where the road goes – up on top of Palisades Dam. Some climbing ahead!
We handled that climb like champs!
The weird clouds continue beside us as we ride some rollers along Palisades Reservoir.
Is it going to rain, or what?
The view behind us is clear, blue sky. Wish we were headed that way.
The grass was wet from a drizzle we just missed at our lunch stop at the Flying Saddle Resort near Alpine, and the temperature was quite cool. The SAG wagon was busy again. Strangely, although the sun hadn’t come out, the temperature warmed six degrees while we ate lunch.
And now begins 20 miles of riding up a canyon along the Snake River. There were so many perfectly formed pine trees here, it made me think of a holiday greeting card with identical Christmas trees stamped all over it.
We saw lots of rafts and fisherfolk on the river. Bugman had tried dinging the bike bell to say hello to the rafters, but we were too high above them, and they didn’t hear us.
A quick rest enroute, and an opportunity for bike clubs to regather scattered members.
Home sweet home for the night! Our group was pretty darned lucky to be given permission to camp on Boy Scout land right next to the river. There weren’t a whole lot of other options out there. Some of the folks who stayed in hotels had to commute 30 minutes to Jackson to find a room! The meal that night was spaghetti. MMMMM! CARBS!!!!!!
A bunch of people were wading in the Snake River. I just had to join them! The day was pretty warm, and the water was crisply cold. I really wanted to submerge completely in that water and rued the fact that I had not packed a swimsuit. No matter! I went and changed into my nylon hiking pants and sports bra (I care little about being a fashion disaster), then went and floated in the river, holding onto a rock as my legs floated in the current. I stayed in there until my feet got uncomfortably cold, then changed into dry clothes and lay in the warmth of my sunbaked tent as my cutaneous tissue slowly released all the river snowmelt cold I had absorbed. I fell asleep for a few-oh-so-blissful moments, despite the camp activity around me – a most welcome nap, since I had not slept well since leaving home, and the deprivation was starting to wear on me.
The entertainment that night was Gary Small and the Coyote Brothers – a reprise performance from last year. These guys are good – a blend of Santana guitar, rhythm & blues, and reggae with a touch of “world music.” I probably should not have, given the depleted state of my leg muscles, but I danced. It was freeing to cut loose in a crowd where nobody really knew me and I didn’t have to worry about being proper and setting a certain standard of decorum. Day 3 of my vacation, and the stress of my job was finally starting to melt away!
Distance and elevation gain (per my mapping software): 71.69 miles, 7,263 feet?? What? Go home, GPS – you’re drunk! It also told me that our top speed exceeded escape velocity at 17,379.9 mph. (the official full route stats were 71 miles, 1,717 feet)
Min temp: 45, Max temp: 82, Winds 3-16, gusting to 23 mph, Precipitation: none [data from Driggs, as there were no closer weather station histories I could find]
Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw