So today’s scheduled route was 86 miles for Jackson to Dubois, and we climbed across the Continental Divide at 9658 feet. The first 20 miles went north from Jackson toward Yellowstone and into Teton National National Park. The most iconic vistas of the Grand Tetons, including Jackson Hole ski resort, were to our left the whole distance. If you lived in Jackson you would probably want to do this ride regularly and never get bored.
There is only one road across the Continental Divide and a section of it is under reconstruction. THe road is closed to bicycles at that point, so we had to be shuttled for nearly ten miles. Mostly uphill miles. There was a few chuckles about how that meant that we haven’t pedaled “EFI” (every *ing inch), but you can’t pedal what is not available. The last ten miles of the ascent were steep but tolerable, and then it was 30 miles of fairly moderate downhill into Dubois. On paper this day did not look that much easier than yesterday and yet it definitely was, partially due to the shuttle.
Dubois is very “old west,” in fact one guy was approached and told that this is “one of the ten most authentic old west towns.” It feels very different from the resort town environment of Jackson Hole. And the geology has turned more like Arizona-like with orange/red rock formations. The Wind River runs through town. It was weird to be traveling east and have the river run toward the east, the opposite of the past two weeks. Everything here flows to the Mississippi.
I had dinner at the home of an old work colleague who has a spectacular ranch out here. I got the chance to talk about the ride and FTM. The seven of us discussed marriage equality, not just in the outright, but some of the other aspects to the debate: is civil union enough? Should states decide for themselves? My answer is of course “no” and “I wish Supreme Court could set a national standard,” but it was interesting to have the debate and to try and push the envelope even amongst folks who are open minded. I brought along as a hostess gift a cookbook that I had bought in Jackson. When I purchased the book I took the time to talk to the ladies running the store about the ride and the cause: “oh, we are OK with that. In fact I was (recently) talking to my 80 year old father who is in Virginia and never voted other than Republican. His view is why do we want to stop people in love from getting married?” Agreed!