6/30 - Ashton, ID to Jackson WY - Day 15

This trip though only scheduled to be 68 miles, promises to be very challenging. A ten percent grade at the end of the day will see to that.

As we left the town of Ashton we could see the Tetons looming in the distance. By the end of the day we will cross over the mountains to Jackson WY. The air was cool and calm. A welcome change to the hot windy conditions that greeted us in Ashton the evening before. The roads were twisty curvy with some uphills. At mile ten we had a chance at a "practice hill". By the end of the day, we will have had all the hills that we could stand.

At the 30 mile mark, we stopped at a gas station for a break and for something to drink. Up until now, there were farms, farms and more farms, but no place to stop... Unless you count the Beef Jerky place.

 The Picnic Stop was nine miles further along in the town of Driggs. As usual the picnic stop was welcome. I think that most people were reluctant to start attack the upcoming hill, as so lunch ran a bit longer than usual. By the time we got back on the road, the winds started to pick up. Not unexpected but surely not very welcome. The winds came mostly from the south west, just in the direction we were heading! An eight mile bike path connected Driggs to Victor.

In Victor they had an old time soda fountain were they could mix up the flavor soda you wanted. It reminded me of my Father's store that he had while I was growing up. I had a cherry soda and we were off again. Just five more miles and we left Idaho and entered Wyoming. We took pictures at the state line and brace ourselves for the upcoming climb. I don't think that I've ever climbed a 10 percent grade before (10 percent grade means for every 100 feet you go forward, you rise 10 feet).

By this time, I was riding with at least 8 other folks as well. All of them better at climbing that me, but the seven miles to the top was going to be tough on everyone. The headwinds that we were battling had started to shift to tail winds and the temperatures was not too hot. The routine was get into your smallest gear and start peddling... Don't look up... After a couple of stops and more than an hour later were all were to the top, taking photos and looking at the views. It was great!!

It seems that everyone had a different game to getting there, some had songs playing in their heads, some concentrating on their breathing, but for me I saw everyone in front of me cranking away and I just keep doing what I had to do to reach the top.

The descent into "the hole" was as steep as the ascent. We needed to stop several times just to cool off the brakes on the bikes. At the base of the descent, we all stopped at the coffee shop for a round of drinks before moving on to the camp grounds.

The early morning shadows......

The tetons are gettting closer

Entering Wyoming at the foot of the Teaton Pass.

Look at that yellow sign over my shoulder; 10% grade!!

Made it to the top of the pass!!!

View of "the hole" from the top of Teton Pass

Downhill to Jackson