June 25, 2001

6/25/01 Grant's Village Campground

42.8 miles

The thunderstorm last night was more light show and rain than fury and destruction. But, because I'm camping among the trees, things are still cool and damp. Had breakfast with the motorcycle guys before getting back on the road.

Film is definitely a premium here. Every break in trees gave another spectacular view of the mountains and the lake. I hadn't gone very far when I spotted two cyclists coming the other way.

Brenda and Allen Henderson are farmers from Iowa, who biked from home to do the Great Divide. They used a tandem on the TransAm and then switched to mountain bikes. They are the first GDR riders I've met this year. As you can imagine, I had a ton of questions about their trip so far. After our long discussion, I'll be excited to get together with them after the trip (to compare war stories).

Brenda and Allan

Coming out of Grand Teton National Park, you could see evidence of the forest fires of '88. Barren hills with dead tree trunks and a few saplings trying to grow. Took a lunch break at Flagg Ranch before entering Yellowstone National Park.

The devastation from the 1998 fire

Traffic wasn't that bad and there was a small shoulder along the road. I took pictures as I rode alongside the Lewis River. Passed the large Lewis Lake and was a bit surprised when I reached the pass before the campground. Not any wildlife today, but mosquitoes.

As I checked in at the Grant's Village Campground, they told me it had only just been opened because of recent grizzly bear activity. Even after dinner, the rangers had a sighting of one of the bears headed our direction. Before they could ask people to evacuate, the grizzly started moving away from the campground. Fun and excitement.

It made a wonderful sound!

At the registration center, I met Dallas Cox, an acupuncturist from Denver. Like me, he had given up an engineering job to pursue more meaningful work. I actually saw him, his wife, and two small children at the entrance to Grand Teton Park as their car was being towed toward Jackson. "Alternator trouble," he said. We talked a bit about health care and our roles, while his wife was getting them a campsite.

By dinner time, I'm still the only cyclist in camp. So I decide to get something to eat at the "Village Grill." The staff was great as I had AYCE soup and salad. Did manage to get a hold of Liz, the librarian in West Yellowstone, Montana. I'm to talk to the kids about my trip, which they've been following. Liz seemed full of questions, but said, "I can hear all your answers when you get here."

The camp must be getting full, because they're putting people in the group-only campsites near me. I talked with three guys tenting across from me about their road trip all over the west, including Canada.

Let's see - other items of interest here in Grant's Village: The visitor center has a pretty good exhibit on the fire of 1988, which almost consumed one-third of the park. Yellowstone Lake is huge! And the mosquitoes here are overwhelming.