Looking Down on Snow

June 23, 2008

Jean reminds¬†me there is more to this trip¬†than biking… and people do not necessarily always care to read about biking. True. However, this entry is entirely about biking. So do not¬†read any further if you do not want to read about this biking.

The past 4 days have been extremes of lazy rest days in two of¬†our most fabluous National Parks; Teton and Yellowstone, OR, some pretty awesome climbing. Climbing Teton Pass (elev. 8,500′)¬†on June 20th and today it was the Continental Divide (elev. 9,700′). The highest elevations we have done to date. Teton Pass¬†was shorter and more brutal. My wounded GPS was showing grades of¬†9.5% and 10% in the last¬†four miles.¬†¬†We were all blowing hard, stopping¬†four times in the last¬†three miles for oxygen. Naturally, the ride to the floor at Jackson WY. was a rush! (What we do is to wait for a no-traffic break,¬†start everyone at 100yd intervals and then start Jean in the van. She holds back traffic since it is¬†no-passing and 45mph limit. So we have the entire lane. Try to imagine!) The Continental Divide was different today. Starting at 6,900′ we climbed for about 17 miles at an average of 5-6% grade. The end was steeper, naturally. To my cycling¬†friends at home, try to imagine riding the Ellison¬†Bay hill that’s seventeen miles long at 9,000′.

Which brings me to the point. Today, on the last large climb, as on each large climb preceeding it. The Cascades, Tetons and now the Divide I have always looked down on snow. At times just a little here and there in the woods, but today I looked down on a solid snow field that was 1,000′ below me. Pretty awesome. It’s all downhill from here, right?!¬†

News! Yesterday, my sister Lyss,¬†her daughter¬†Mararget and children and a friend joined us in Yellowstone for¬†a week of riding, adventure and family. Particularly Peter, Margaret’s son, who is 15 and has proven to be a fine rider. Great!¬†¬†

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