Week 6 of our GDMBR trip only featured one day of cycling, from Colter Bay to Jackson, WY. It began with a rest day at Colter Bay Campground with our friends Gillian and Grant. We enjoyed lounging and swimming at the Jackson Lake beach in the morning, but the solitude was soon disturbed by crowds of people, giant floaties and kids splashing around. At that point, we decided to retreat to our campsite, where we spent the remainder of the day relaxing, tuning our bikes, and hanging out with G&G.
That night, we made s’mores and enjoyed libations together over a small campfire. Grant had said that he enjoys marshmallows, but he had steered clear of sweets all week. We encouraged him to join the fun and roast a marshmallow; he resisted at first but eventually gave in to our peer pressure. Then he proceeded to roast at least another half dozen in quick succession, which made us laugh because he was very happy and surprised how much he enjoyed it, saying he had never had a proper roasted marshmallow. Aside from the beer and marshmallows, we shared stories and pictures and had a great time together. We had so much fun and are very thankful that we met, so it was a sad goodbye the next morning. We hope that we will cross paths again in the future, although probably not on this trip.
The map showed downhill for most of the 40 miles into Jackson, but it was very gradual, and the wind blowing up the valley easily cancelled all benefits. Regardless, it felt good to be riding again after our rest day, and the scenery was world class.
G&G had considered joining us for the Jackson Spur but ultimately decided to continue on and save their rest days for further down the road in less busy and less expensive places. Fortunately for us, though, our good friend Jon G connected us with with his friend Jackie, who lived in Jackson just a few blocks from the town center. Coincidentally, Jackie was moving from Jackson to L.A. only a few days later, and another roommate had already moved out, so we slept with our pads on the floor of the vacant bedroom for two nights. It was a real treat, which we greatly appreciated. Thank you so much, and we hope you had a good move, Jackie!!!
Per usual, we spent a few hours in the library while we were in town. Additionally, though, we hit up the most popular ice cream spot in town, Rachel took what most touring cyclists would consider a big risk and ordered a Brooks leather saddle, and we bartered with a bike shop to store our bikes for the week we spent at Grand Targhee for Shannon’s wedding.
Once we ditched our bikes, Robin and Jarrod met us in town and began chauffeuring us around the park in search of wildlife. We hiked the Two Oceans Lake trail, which was relaxing but very rewarding. Surprisingly, the meadows full of wildflowers rivaled the view from the summit of the Grand Viewpoint. Our activities later in the week included a chairlift ride to the top of Grand Targhee and walking the ridge line trail, then driving to Victor, ID for a BBQ and volleyball at Shannon & Pat’s house. Aside from the wedding, the main event of the week was our hike up Table Mountain on Robin’s birthday. It was a tough hike at 13 miles but was well worth it. The trail had lots of variety and the view from the summit was amazing, as the top was just under the looming peak of The Grand Teton. Atop the mountain, we shared a bountiful lunch, and our friend Tori even had enough cell service to FaceTime with her Dad. Later that night, our other friends, Max and Liz, arrived and we caught up over Robin’s birthday dinner and the welcome drinks event for the wedding.
To get some exercise before the festivities, Max, Liz, Leland, and I played disc golf on the mountainside while the others went in search of moose along the Teton River. That night was the wedding, which was a wonderful time in an amazing setting. The weather cooperated just long enough, with the ceremony wrapping up just minutes before an afternoon thunder shower breezed through. It passed as quickly as it came upon us, though, and afterwards it was a beautiful evening and a wonderful, fun-filled reception. The buffet style meal suited Rachel’s and my appetite very well, and then we danced the night away to make room for late night donuts (Shannon and Pat opted for these in lieu of wedding cake, which also suits us very well :-)).
Completing our goal of arriving in Jackson well in advance of the wedding left Rachel and I feeling very accomplished, but more importantly, we were tickled to spend the week in a beautiful location with great friends and to do some fantastic hikes. We’ve never taken this much time off in the middle of a tour before, so we were both a little nervous to find out whether or not we lost any fitness in the process. Regardless it was worth it; we had a great week.