On our very first rest day of the trip, in Eureka, MT, Chris and I received an unexpected gift. We were sitting in the laundromat, reading our books as we waited for the wash cycle to complete. The door swung open, and a head of strawberry blonde dreadlocks sitting atop a long-sleeved flannel shirt and torn jeans strolled in. He was carrying a basket full of clothing, and, as he scanned the room, he spotted us.
Our eighth week of pedaling along the GDMBR began at Sweetwater River just outside Atlantic City, WY, and brought us to Lynx Pass Campground, northwest of Kremmling, CO. We finished our push to Rawlins, WY early so we would have time to relax in town before resuming southward with friends Andy and Silvia. That final push included crossing one of the harshest, most unforgiving stretches of the entire GDMBR, Wyoming’s Great Divide Basin.
Week 7 brought us from Jackson, WY to Sweetwater River Campground, just south of Atlantic City, WY. We were fresh off of 5 consecutive rest days in Jackson/Grand Targhee Resort, catching up and hiking with friends and attending the wedding of our friends, Shannon and Pat. Afterwards, we planned to spend a few days relaxing at Rachel’s family’s cabin, west of Big Piney in the Wyoming Range. We realized it wouldn’t make sense to ride our bikes to the cabin with the limited amount of time we had before we needed to be in Rawlins to meet up with our friends, Andy and Silvia. Rachel’s Aunt Alli and Uncle Jim were very excited about us visiting the cabin (especially since I had never been), and they came up with the idea to get us a rental car. They graciously booked us one from Pinedale, WY for the 4th day after we left Jackson. Thank you SO much, Aunt Alli and Jim!
This meant we needed to hustle for the first three days of the week in order to relax for the following three before returning to the route. In Jackson, we sat at just under 1,500 total miles into the trip, so this week marked the beginning of the second half of our GDMBR journey!
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.
Week five of our GDMBR adventure started somewhat lazily in Bozeman. We had grand plans of getting back to the route and making tracks early, but we were overly ambitious with our to-do list. That being said, we knew we could cover miles late in the day as the temperature dropped and shade grew, so we joined Jim & Jeanette at church then got some amazing donuts from Granny’s Gourmet Donuts . Back at the house, we took our time eating lunch, packing, and using the computer, then left Bozeman at 3PM. J&J took us back to the top of the hill in Butte, and we said goodbye for our 3rd (and final) time of the trip. The rest of the week took us from Butte through southern Montana, over the corner of Idaho, into Northwest Wyoming. We had a daily mileage to maintain in order to arrive in Wyoming in time for our friend Shannon’s wedding at Grand Targhee Resort. Once we had a few good days of riding under our belts, though, we decided we would continue to push a little further every day in order to have extra rest days in Jackson and the Tetons. We also reached a new high of 7,900′ in this section.