When we got up, it was 26 F! Brrr! That's our coldest morning yet. Someone said Yellowstone is the nations coldest spot and I'm starting to believe it! It wasn't hard to decide to pack up as fast as we could and head to the lodge for breakfast and to change into our bike clothes!
The restaurant at Grant Village was just as overpriced as everything else has been around here, but they had a breakfast buffet that included coffee, tea, or hot chocolate AND a juice! Yum!!
I think we managed to eat enough bacon, eggs, sausage, french toast, pastries, potatoes, granola, and yogurt to get our money's worth even at the inflated prices! We were stuffed by the time we were done. It wasn't great food, but at the same time, it was fabulous! After all, we do love to eat!!
After finishing our breakfast, we each commandeered a stall in our respective restrooms to change into our super-hero biker alter egos. Feeling way too full, a bit sleepy, and slightly chilled, we set off with the goal of making it to Moose, WY in Grand Teton National Park.
Only we learned that there was no camping in Moose. So we went with the next best thing: Jenny Lake Campground, 8 miles from Moose. We also had the option of doing backcountry camping, but we prefer camping with others, especially in bear country.
After a few miles, we discovered we weren't the only ones that didn't care for the cold. April's bike, Goosey, decided it no longer wanted to shift the front gear. It's not hard to fix with the toolkit and some space to ride in circles, but since neither was an easily available at the moment, April was reduced to riding a 9-speed through the hills.
The aspen trees in the park are really starting to show their fall colors! They turn a vibrant yellow and make the hillside look like it has patches of sunlight all over it. A really beautiful sight to see. It's cool to be riding through the park in the fall.
Soon, we came to a waterfall. While we were taking our picture, a gray two door Nissan Versa (a really small car), stopped in the middle of the road and rolled down it's window. The guy driving leaned over and asked us if we needed anything. Tools, water, you name it, he had it or could probably get it for us! (Meanwhile traffic is backing up behind him). We said we were ok for now and thanked him.
He went up a little ways and parked and came back to talk a bit more. He was driving around the country and had his bike in the back. He said we were pretty much all headed the same direction and gave us his phone number in case we needed anything. If he was close enough, he would be willing to get us what we needed. How cool is that? Being totally willing to help a perfect stranger! The world could use more people like that.
Down the road a ways, we left one park and headed for the next one. April was excited because she didn't even know we were going to be anywhere near the Grand Tetons, let alone riding through the park.
As we made our way up a huge hill, a pickup coming toward us stopped and said "There's a grizzly up there a little ways." A little bit later, another vehicle stopped and gave the same warning. While we were glad to have a warning, we weren't really sure what "a little ways" meant to a car. Plus we were still going uphill so we were even slower.
By the time we got to the bear-jam (that's a traffic jam caused by a bear spotting), it was starting to clear up. Unfortunately (and fortunately I suppose), the bear was gone. We decided to stop a wait around a bit with the stragglers anyway, but didn't ever get to see the bear.
The bear spotting was only a couple hundred feet from the entrance to Grand Teton National Park, so we rode over to the sign and took our picture.
The Tetons are amazing! They just sort of appear out of the flat land. Every turn brings a new, spectacular view that makes you want to stop and take a picture... so we did!
At one spot, the aspen was especially bright yellow and we asked a lady to take our picture and she said ok. But she only spoke French! Unfortunately, I've forgotten most of the French I took in high school. Fortunately, her friends spoke English. She kept saying the picture was no and she was sorry. Her friend said she was an artist and was never happy unless things were perfect.
We rolled on and just around the corner was another jaw-dropping gorgeous view. The top of the Tetons was obscured by a dark storm cloud while the rest of the sky was a bright blue. And this whole view was right by a lake that reflected it all perfectly. It was truly stunning! The whole thing seemed fake! The pictures don't do it justice, so we tried a video as well. Please check the video out - it's breathtaking, one of the most beautiful views we've seen yet, for sure.
As we were leaving it started to sprinkle a bit. We stopped and put on our rain jackets. It rained harder. Then suddenly, it was doin something else. It wasn't hail and it wasn't snow. It was like giant slush balls! And in less than 5 minutes, it was all over.
At yet another scenic overlook, we changed out of our rain gear. There was a bit of space here, so I fussed with April's gears a bit and got them marginally working. As we were preparing to leave, a van pulled up and someone got out. A familiar voice said, "Hey guys!"
It was Gordon, the 73 year old biker from the day before! We chatted a bit and then headed on to Colter Bay, which was a few miles up the road and one of the biggest towns in the park.
There, when we asked about camping conditions, we met Ken. Ken was an overly helpful clerk who really went out of his way to help us find out about the campgrounds down the road. He must've spent 20-30 minutes trying to get a hold of someone to ask if there were any campsites available. We knew they would have hiker/biker sites or make room for us, but Ken really wanted to find out. And he really wanted us to stay there. He told us three or four times about the great facilities and 350 sites they had a Colter Bay.
Eventually, he got connected and found that the campgrounds weren't full yet. After one more appeal for us to stay there, we thanked him for his help and moved on to the grocery store.
Nearly everything in the grocery store was 30% off! Sweet! Because they were getting ready to close for the season. Not sweet! In fact all the stores and lodges were either getting ready to close or had already closed. Our availability and selection of supplies was not what it once was. Hopefully it doesn't become an issue further along.
We got a few things (including a 1 lb block of mozzarella!) and after a bit of lunch and some souvenir pin, patch, and postcard shopping, we headed for the Jenny Lake Campground.
The ride was beautiful, with lots more pictures and videos. We arrived at the campground just before sundown. The hiker/biker sites were $8 PER PERSON, not per tent! Boooo! And they didn't even have showers. It was pretty frustrating. We got a lot small camp site, and none of the regular sites were per person.
Interestingly, this was a tent only campground. A refreshing switch from the RV Only "campgrounds" we've been running into most of the time.
We basically are camping at the foot of the Grand Teton Peak! It's amazing! Thanks for reading! Now if you'll excuse me, I think I have some cheese to go eat!