Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dude Ranches and Tumbleweeds

Day one: Jackson

We've been adopted... Again! We love having so many wonderful people that we'll get to visit again all over the country. Jon and Libby made us feel so welcome during our time in Jackson. Jon has been a World Bicycle Relief supporter for a few years now, and even owns one of the bikes they send out to developing countries. It was Jon who set up our event at Fitzgerald's Bicycles in Jackson. Not only did he help set it up, but he invited us into his home for a night.

Along with our time with Jon and Libby, we got to meet some new friends.  Joe and Kelly hooked us up with a place to stay at the Teton Science School!  A free room all to ourselves with showers and laundry! whoo hoo!

Lincoln and Courtney met us at our presentation at Fitzgerald's and offered to take us out to dinner in Jackson that night with a few friends.

Day Two: Grand Tetons

Back in the Tetons! Our ride this day was humbling. We rode from the Friends of Pathways event in Jackson, back up the bike trail through the Tetons to Jenny Lake. The pathway in the Tetons is dedicated to the family of 13 year old Gabriella who died in a bike accident in the Tetons 12 years ago. Friends of Pathways is the organization that is helping to connect that pathway to the Jackson bike path. At the entrance of the Tetons, we caught up with Gabriella's mother, a Friends of Pathways founder, and another big supporter, Connie. We rode the pathway with these three and stopped with them at the sign dedicated to Gabriella. I'm still amazed at how much good can come out of something so tragic. It was nice to see, along with us enjoying the path that day, many others riding the path safely.

Being back in the Tetons brought back a memory of this conversation between a son and his dad when we were hiking up to Inspiration Point.

Son to Dad: I'm more of an inside, sea-level type person.
Dad: What do you mean?
Son: I'm not really into this outside, above sea-level stuff.

....we hope this conversation never comes up with our children. haha. 

Here's our camp friends in our campsite behind the recycle bin. 

Even though we camped behind the recycle bin that night, we were just a short walk away from this. 

Day three: CM Ranch

An odd day of many changes. After leaving our final Teton campsite, we rode up and over Togwotee pass. With the Tetons out of site, the whole country seemed to change and we found ourselves again riding in a remote, barren land without a tree to shade us. That night we spent in a beautiful cabin at a dude ranch in Dubois, courtesy of Connie. Molly and Hunter, the CM Ranch managers, welcomed us right in and even invited us to partake in dinner and breakfast. Tough choice... pulled pork or hotdogs and pasta?? Oh, the life of a touring cyclist!

Day four: Lander

It really is a small world. We originally met Dave, a fellow touring cyclist on that foggy, foggy morning in Virginia on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park back in April. We've been keeping tabs on each other and noticed we'd be in Lander on the same day and we camped together that night. Check out Dave's videos from the road!

Motorcycle dude outside campground: I'm a step above you guys. I don't do that whole peddling thing on my bike. See this? (points to big belly) I've been working on this for 53 years. What a shame it'd be to waste all that hard work.

Day Five: Jeffrey City

40 miles into the day and we were beat. Lunch was only able to slightly rejuvenate us, and we were back into the hot, cloudless day. At one point we thought we may have had a slight tail wind and were debating it when all of a sudden the wind picked up from the north and blew us and a tumbleweed across the shoulder. It scared me enough to slow my bike down before a second later, the wind came whipping from the south. The tumbleweed flew by us again and we were forced to stop riding. But the second we got off our bikes, that same wind came from right behind us and we couldn't pass up the chance for a tail wind. For 20 more miles that wind blew us right into Jeffrey City.

Conversation with waitress in Jeffrey City:

Adam: How many people live in Jeffrey City?

Christiana: Well, that depends on who wins the debate whether or not dogs count as citizens.

Adam: What about the population without dogs?

Christiana: Well, there's 47 full-time residents that live here. But we've got Meagan and her two little ones for the summer which brings us to an even 50!

Here's our home for the night.  The little First Baptist Church.  Not too hard to find. 

Day Six: Rawlins

Getting to Rawlins was a tough day full of cross winds.  That mountain may look close, but the hour long, ten mile ride towards it was actually harder than the hill itself. 

While touring, you never know what's going to happen. We met up with Pedal Powered Family in Wisconsin a few months ago and had a fun night of camping and tracking down Marshmallow-eating raccoons! This week, we had the opportunity to meet up with them again, only under slightly different circumstances. They are on a semi-hiatus from bike touring while dealing with an injury. It is scary how easily your health can affect your ability to tour by bike.

Even with an injury, though, these guys were still in high spirits and we enjoyed a visit of too many snacks(of course the marshmallows were included), and one the best camping breakfast of the trip: French toast smothered in apples and maple syrup. Not only that, we got to play some good, old-fashioned games of chase the kids around and tickle them, and let's see who can get dizziest when spinning the kids. Good stuff.

Day seven: Saratoga

A $3.75 single scoop of ice cream is just not in our budget but boy was it gooooood! We beat the system and got a double scoop- one for me and one for Adam for $4.50 altogether. Sneaky, sneaky. It was some of the yummiest ice cream we've had.

We may just have to grab one more ice cream treat before we head on out today.


  1. Excellent story, Christy! Though I am wondering how you've spent so much time in Wyoming. Nonetheless, please let Adam know his images are stunning. I'd love to see a published work of the images when your journey ends. Mark in Baton Rouge.

  2. Thanks, Mark! A book is in the cards, I believe! Hope all is well! We miss you, Baton Rouge, and all the yummy food down there!

  3. Christy and Adam - we jutst returned from our three week bicycle tour in France, near the Swiss border. It was a great time with our kids - our journal is in German, but some pics are online (by far not as good as Adam's!!!) - click on my name...

    The first thing after our return was checking out your entries. And it's outstanding what we can see and read! Exactely 10 years before you we rode our bikes on the exactely same road from Yellowstone over Togwotee to Dubois, Lander, Jeffrey City and Rawlins. To see your pics let us fall in dreams of our honeymoon in your country. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Unfortunately we didn't have luck with the tail wind from Lander to Rawlins - we had two days of hard head wind! In Jeffrey city we camped in the "City park" - or the leftover of it ;-)So good memories!!

    Take care and once more: YOU ARE SOOOOO GREAT!

    Daniel from Switzerland (and you guys have to come to us, you're our guests - there are many mountains to hike :-)

  4. Daniel,

    Thank You so much for your comments! We love that you took the family bike touring! Everyone keeps on telling us about the bike touring in Europe. We would love to come visit someday. I've seen some of Europe and I would love to travel there with Christy.. and explore with a bike and hiking boots (of course a camera in hand too). Thanks so much for continuing to follow us and comment! sincerely, Adam