Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Favorite Day...Biking From Jackson to The Grand Teton National Park - Day 5

Photo compliments of my new friend, Elaine. That's me in the center.
This was our view for the better part of the afternoon.

I woke up feeling a little overwhelmed. I talked to Cliff the day before and told him about me nearly bonking and he told me to remember to take my gels and drink Gatorade and that I would be aight! I'm not gonna lie though, I was on the verge of tears at one point. The thought of nearly 50 miles and a lot of that going up had me all worked up. Sid, one of the guides, worked her magic, though. She gave me a little pep talk and some encouragement and I felt much better.

We loaded our luggage on the van, packed our snacks and then went to breakfast. I decided to go back to what I was used to and what I had been eating on my training. I had a bagel smeared with peanut butter and a piece of fruit.

After breakfast, we hopped on the bikes and headed through the town of Jackson, WY. We passed the park with the antler arches and continued out of town. We passed the picnic area where our tour would end on Saturday. It was around this area that we got on the bike path.

The bike path ran along here....Flat Creek, just outside Jackson, WY.
Heading north, we were on a very nice bike path. It was mostly flat for a few miles and then we had some gentle hills. We took a right and headed to a little town called Kelly. I believe it was at this point that we could see the Gros Ventre Mtn. range. Once on the road to Kelly, we were off the bike path. But there wasn't much traffic. A few miles down the road, we arrived at Kelly and a cute little coffee shop. The tour van was waiting there and we stopped for some nutrition and to refill our water bottles. 

Snack break. That's my bicycle in the center. It looks like it belongs to a bag lady. Lol!
I believe in being prepared. I had a little bit of everything.
Coffee Shop in Kelly

Crossed this creek on the way to the flats.

Entering the flats.....
...we saw a herd of bison off in the distance.
Leaving the flats, the Tetons are coming into view.
After leaving the flats, we were on the highway for just a little bit. Our next stop was Dornan's Restaurant for lunch. However, most of us packed a lunch from the van, which we enjoyed out front of Dornan's. We were now beside the Snake River and near the community of Moose.
A little moose humor.

Ominous clouds behind the teepee would be bringing rain.
Yes, as we were leaving Dornan's, it began to rain. Just a short ride down the road we ducked into the visitor's center until it passed. After leaving the visitor's center, it wasn't long before we were entering the Grand Teton National Park.

It stayed cloudy and we were dodging the rain, it seemed. And because of the clouds, it was a little cool, too.  It was starting to get hilly now, but the ride was so gorgeous that we didn't mind them so much. Our next stop was Jenny Lake.

Jenny Lake
Leaving Jenny Lake, we rode through a wooded area. We were advised to watch for Grizzly and Black bears. If we saw any, we were told not to approach them for pictures.....but, to turn our bikes around and ride in the opposite direction. I had no problem with that advice. I was praying we wouldn't see any bears and we did not. I did notice the smell of the forest here. It smelled like Christmas trees. I took lots of deep breaths....it was glorious! Once we cleared the wooded area, we had approximately 14 more miles. They seemed to go a little quicker now and I was so glad because those uphills were challenging.
On the flats, we had the winds to contend with but we were able to hold 12-14 mph. On the downhills, 22-27 mph. But the uphills, especially near the end, 4-7 mph. It was tough.
Further down the road and off to our left was Jackson Lake. We crossed Jackson Lake Dam, but didn't stop for pictures that day. We were nearing the end of the ride and I was just ready to be done. Only a couple more miles, but some hellish uphills were ahead. The last hill....I nearly walked! I actually came close a couple of times, but I could not.....I would not! I had trained for too long and had come all those miles.....there was just no way I would give up! I pushed through and finally made it. Just as we rounded the last curve, there it was....the Jackson Lake Lodge. I'm not gonna lie....riding into the parking lot, I cried just a little. I was so proud of myself. I had spent 3 months training at sea level where the only hill I had to train on was a bridge.....not to mention the elevation. Jackson Lake Lodge is at an elevation of 7000 feet. And then, those couple of tears turned into a grin that I sported for the next half hour. There was a lot of congratulations and high fives. We had just ridden 49 miles. 
What a sense of accomplishment!!!!!
Today's Total Miles: 49.01
Total For Trip:   116.6 

After cleaning up and resting a bit, it was time for dinner in the Mural Room. When you enter the Lodge's activity center, there is a set of stairs in the center that you climb to get to the Mural Room. When you reach the top, you are greeted with this.....
The Grand Tetons!
My favorite day!
Be back soon with day 6,




  1. Got a little teary and could almost feel your accomplishment at the end of this day of your post. You finished the day the way you did because you earned it!

    Once again, oh my! The scenery you passed through! What a visual experience . . . for us, your readers, along with you. Thanks!

    1. Ah, you're too sweet, Mama Pea. Thank you kindly! I was definitely riding on Cloud 9 for days.

  2. OMGOODNESS, Laurie! What GREAT pictures and what an undertaking on your part! What an amazing experience. I am so proud of you! How awesome! xo Diana

    1. Thank you, Diana! It was a great experience.....one I will always remember.

  3. So amazing. I love reading your adventures day by day. The pictures are breath taking.
    Congratulations on an amazing 5th day!

    1. Thank you so much, DJH! Day 5 was unforgettable!

  4. Oh Laurie....
    Breathtaking! What a beautiful country you live in!
    Enjoy your evening...
    Linda :o)

    1. Isn't though? I do live in a beautiful country! I wish everyone could see it. Enjoy your evening, as well.

  5. I just went back over your previous posts and sure enjoyed all the pics and all your accomplishments! Way to go! It's been a long time since I've been to Jackson and this post brought back memories of a really great family vacation we had there. It wasn't on a bike though! You're amazing! What a wonderful bike challenge you conquered. When my hubby was finishing Chiropractic college we really considered moving to Jackson Hole..in the 70's we might have been able to afford it..not so sure in this day and age! Congrats and thanks for a fun bunch of posts and pics!

    1. Thanks, YaYa! Jackson Hole is so beautiful! It's a very busy place, though. Lots of tourists. But who can blame them. Maybe you and your hubby should re-visit. Affording something there now? Well, I think you are right....I imagine it would be very expensive to live there. I have a couple more days to go....so come back when you can.

  6. You were at some of my favorite places!

    We always drive that loop of road that goes through Kelly when we want to see animals. On that road we have seen elk, moose, bison, mama grizzly and cubs (at a safe and respectful distance), antelope and even a porcupine up in a tree.

    Dornan's overlooks the Snake River and is a great place for pizza.

    The Jackson Lake Lodge has been there since 1955 and to me the style is timeless and so fitting to the place. We have been there for big events and quiet meals and the view over Willow Flats is awesome.

    I do hope that if you ever come this way again you let me know. I would love to meet you.

    1. Wow Kathy! I thinking meeting would be awesome. I will certainly let you know, when I come back. I want to bring my husband to experience it at some point. We heard Dornan's was famous for their pizza. Wish I had ordered one now. Jackson Lake Lodge is beautiful. Our room had been updated and was very spacious. The view from the Mural Room, though, is Breathtaking! You do live in a gorgeous place!

    2. If you come this way, consider winter which is beautiful although cold. If not winter then May or September are quieter than at the height of summer. There is a lot of animal activity in the fall with "courting" going on that brings us the cute baby animals in the spring.