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Chainsawman Goes TransAmerica for Blood Cancer
By Jeff Courtway - (contact)

Day 23: Grant Village Campground to Lava Mt. Lodge CG/ 84.5 miles/ 1584.5 total

Saturday July 16, 2011

Rose out of my cold tent around 6:30. It must be around 35 deg this morning. My CG partners were up as well for a hot cup of java and tea. They planned on doing a day trip over to Old Faithful. They were friendly and engaging and somehow were able to understand my southern drawl. At times I will lay it on thick to try and get a response. The big group of Oriental folks were already up and were loud and busy as they were last night, having one helluva time! I got packed up by 8:30 and was off for parts unknown. Just outside of the campground entrance I spotted a restaurant sign that said "buffet." I had to go and check that out and found a slice of heaven! Heaping mounds of eggs, bacon, french toast, fruit, muffins, cereal, etc... All of this for the measley price of $11.95. Hey, sometimes you just have to break down and after my experience in the park at W. Yellowstone, my stomach has stretched to the max! Got a belly full of this great breakfast and set off on my journey- already had a fairly stiff headwind as I traveled south and out of the park. I met a nice group of older tour riders doing a 2 week journey in the park. I rode a 7 mile trek with a fairly good climb up to the entrance of Grand Teton National Park. I then descended down to Jackson Lake and it unraveled a most majestic view of the Range- the Tetons in all their splendor rising hurriedly to 12,000'and more. These mountains display the glory of God and makes me think of Psalm 19- "they pour forth their speech." Rode into Colter Bay Village @ the picnic area to fuel up and marvel at these amazing mountains rising up from across the lake. Man this has to be the most gorgeous picnic area in the United States- Wow! The weather is absolutely magnificent. Clear and 75 deg. The wind is another story. I met a young man named Matt who just grduated from a small Nazarene College in Oklahoma City. He and another guy are riding for a cause and have ridden from NY State. This fine young man seemed very mature and grounded and is on the adventure of his life. Made me really excited for him. We swapped stories for awhile before I took off.

I left Colter Bay aroun 3:00 and headed for wherever I ended up. This was a nice smooth ride and the road moved east to get me out of that nasty headwind! Finally! I stopped along the Snake River and chatted with a nice vibrant man fom Ireland. I just loved to hear him talk. He talked passionately of th good fishing of his homeland. I want to go now!! Rode a nice tailwind for a bit to Moran Jct and started for Togwotee Pass. I knew what that climb had in store for me- 3,600 vertical feet. I stocked up on ice cream at the last place before the climb. I hit construction crews as they were tearing up the road for quite some ways. They made me put my bike in the back of a truck and hauled me about 5 miles up toward the pass. I felt as though I was cheating but I had no choice in the matter. They dropped me off and I began my 21 mile ride to the summit. This climb has a series of up and level, up and level.... Well you get the picture. This climb is a doozy but is never really steep, just LONG. Beautiful view of the Tetons and I surely hated saying goodbye to them. I regret not camping in Colter Bay. Toward the top of the pass I began to see more and more snow. This pass is almost 10,000.' I got over the top around 8 p.m. and enjoyed the incredible road which was newly paved and descended into Lava Mtn. Lodge Campground. There was beautiful spires to my left as I descended with the evening sun glowing from its ledges. I stopped several times just to gaze in wonder. I am really into Wyoming now!

Lava Mt Lodge has rooms and not so great tent sites with a restaurant and bar, hot showers and laundry services. It has nice people there and is moderately priced for $15 for a tent spot. Camped near a very nice father-son from Michigan named Tom and Sam. They gave me some firewood and we sat and talked for an hour or so about my favorite subject and obviously theirs, fishing. As darkness set in out came the magnificent stars! This is a great view out here in the open. Wow, camping out in Wyoming, don't get no better! This was a long hard day of riding but one of majestic beauty with Yellowstone, Jackson Lake, the Grand Tetons, Colter Bay, the challenging climb over Togwotee Pass and the magnificent descent into Lava Mt. I love this!

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Another incredible and lovely day of riding along the roads of Yellowstone with its streams, woods and meadows.

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Taking it all in on my ride along the Snake River in Wyoming.

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Near the south entrance to the park the road came up along this cool canyon. So many cool sites await the eyes in Yellowstone. Just be careful for the traffic! Wildlife don't dare wander into these highways!

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Leaving Yellowstone and heading for the Grand Tetons.

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On my descent into Grand Teton National Park the mountains showed their majesty along Jackson Lake.

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Beautiful wildflowers abound along the road in Grand Teton National Park.

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Matt had just graduated from a Nazarene College near Oklahoma City and was doing a cross country tour to raise money for youth literacy. A fine young man, he was on the adventure of his life and it made me proud for him!

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The majestic view of the Grand Tetons from the picnic area in Colter Bay. I should have camped right here! Best picnic spot I have ever seen.

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The road along the 3600' 21 mile climb up Togwotee Pass. Never too steep but long. Just keep them pedals turnin over. Hang in there!

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Lots of snow appeared along the almost 10,000' Togwotee Pass. It really cooled off up here.

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The beautiful spires along the descent over the Pass. The evening sun really made their beauty shine. I am just 8 miles or so from Lava Mt. Lodge Campground where I camped.


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"Chainsawman Goes TransAmerica for Blood Cancer" Copyright © 2011-2014 By Jeff Courtway - (contact). All rights reserved.
Page was created on October 15, 2011 08:23 PDT, last updated on October 15, 2011 08:44 PDT
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