This morning we awoke to a balmy 32 F. When I got out of the tent, the view was stunning, but it was a bit too cold to write or do work on the computer.
I tried to get April up in time to see the colors of the sunrise changing on the mountain, but she was a bit slow getting out of the tent and missed it. We went down to the lake shore anyway and watched as steam rose off the water. The water is all so clear! It's amazing!
It was so pretty, we took a video too!
After a bit of soaking up the view, we headed over to the visitor center and found a general store next door as well, but the store was closed for the season. Not to worry, Ken had warned us there were no supplies at Jenny Lake (he didn't mention there was a store, it was just closed), so we had stocked up in Colter Bay. The visitor center didn't open for another 15 minutes, so we headed back to camp and had breakfast. It took a looooong time for our water to heat up!
After breakfast, we went back to the visitor center to inquire about a boat ride we'd heard of. It sounded kind of cool, but between the temperature and the price, we decided we'd rather save our money and head for Moose.
The tent was a bit wet from condensation on the inside of the rain fly (from our body heat and breath), so we spread things out to dry in the sun and went to change clothes.
As we approached the bathroom, I thought the guy who just went in looked familiar. I asked April, "Was that the guy from back at Glacier Park that did all those R.A.G.B.R.A.I.'s?"
"I'm not sure. Why don't you go ask?"
It's a little awkward to talk to a someone in a tiny men's bathroom... especially if you're trying to find out if you know them or not, but thankfully we both left the bathroom at the same time and I was able to talk to him outside. :-)
I was now pretty sure it was Jamie, the same guy that we had seen in Glacier at The Whistle Stop restaurant. I asked him if he had been up at Glacier a few weeks ago and had ridden a bunch of R.A.G.B.R.A.I.'s, and sure enough, it was him! He said he'd come by the hiker/biker area where we were camping in a few minutes, so I went back to tell April and start packing up the tent.
Jamie showed up just as we were getting ready to load the last bags, the dry bags, on our bikes, which was perfect timing. We talked for a while about biking, and traveling, and bear spray. He'd been quite a few other places between the time we met in Glacier and now, which is why we'd met up again (duh!). It was pretty cool to meet up again.
We eventually said goodbye and headed our separate ways. Us toward Moose and Jamie to the boat dock for a ride across the lake and then a hike up the mountain! As we left the campground, someone commented that we were the most visible bikers he's seen because of our bags, vest, and reflective stuff! It's nice to know we're easy to see.
The ride to Moose was great. There was a bike path for the whole 8 miles! And it was mostly flat or downhill. There were even little "Steep Grade" bicycle signs. :-)
Upon arriving in Moose, we went to the discovery/visitor center to use the restroom. It looked like a neat place, but April was really hungry, so we decided to go eat and then come back. We asked the ranger where a good place to eat was and were told to go over the bridge and take left.
When we got to the bridge there were lots of people on it looking at something in the water. So we stopped to look too. It was a large bull moose! We got a couple of pictures and then the moose decided it was bored with all the attention and wandered into the brush.
There were two restaurants across the bridge. One was a pizzeria and one was a "chuck wagon". After comparing menus and prices at both, we decided they were both overpriced, and chose Duran's Chuck Wagon because it included drinks. The food was mediocre and the hot chocolate wasn't very hot, but we did get to eat in a teepee with a great view! And we got to get out of the wind which had been blowing all morning.
We got some more compliments on our panniers from a lady who grew up in New York City and seemed stunned and amazed that anyone would do something so crazy as ride their bicycles all the way across the USA. Our conversation with her was interrupted by a friend of hers who said, "She doesn't get out much". Then we wandered into a bike store and had another long conversation about our trip with a guy working at a bike shop who was a bit younger than us. He was hoping to do a major tour someday. We told him it was totally do-able, totally awesome, and he should totally go for it!
After the bike shop, we headed back to the visitor center to take in all the cool exhibits and learn about the Tetons. Plus we had heard there was a really amazing art gallery there that we wanted to see. Unfortunately, the art gallery had been removed to protect the art during construction on another part of the building, so we just learned about the early explorers and wildlife, which was still cool.
We also opted to see a free movie about the area. It was warm and dark, and we had just eaten...April said she almost fell asleep!
After the video, we hit the road and headed back up to our main route. We decided to take a different road back, Jackson Highway, so we could get a different view. And we were glad we did! Jackson Highway, though it had a bit more traffic, offered a much larger view of the Teton Range than we'd seen before. It was incredible; the dark mountains jutting into the sky, contrasting the bright yellow aspen in the valley...breathtaking!
To get the full effect of viewing the Tetons, you've gotta watch the video too.
Because we were heading the opposite direction from earlier in the day, our headwind turned into a great tailwind and helped us make great time...to the middle of nowhere. Most of the small stops listed on our map were closed or closing due to the end of the summer, and they had very few, if any, supplies because they were cleaning out their inventory for the year.
We've been running into this a lot out here on the tourist loop and are starting to run a little low on a lot of the staple supplies. We are pretty much out of anything but the basics.
We reached the last lodge/store within 15 miles (which was also closing), and was next to a campground in the Teton National Forest. After some debate, we decided to stay in the campground rather than going down the road and just pitching the tent in the forest.
The tent was quickly pitched and dinner cooked and consumed. After cleaning up, we decided to walk back to the lodge and have dessert. It turns out they only had one type of dessert, a chocolate lava brownie with ice cream! We decided to split one...and it was awesome!! :-D
Back at the campsite, on the way to brush our teeth we met our new neighbors. They were an older couple, John and Robin, from one of the Virginias, and they had been driving all over the United States visiting friends and those quirky, off-beat places listed in a quirky, off-beat place guide.
Robin told us a few weeks ago they had been biking and hadn't made it back to camp before dark. In the darkness, she hit a speed bump and took a nasty spill resulting in a trip the to ER and stitches in her chin. At first she thought she had broken her arms because they hurt so bad. But she hadn't. Instead, they found out a day or two later that she had broken her jaw!! The specialist said she didn't have to wire it shut as long as she could still move it, so they bought a blender, put her on a liquid diet, and opted to stay on the road! She said her friends back home were having a fit, but she and John were having a great time.
I have to say, we've met some really cool people on this trip, across a wide variety of ages. The northwest has been a beautiful and amazing place! As we prepare to end this phase of our trip and head into the plains (still a little ways away) we can't wait to see what else is in store!