September 2, 2001

9/2/01 Jenny Lake

60.9 / 7080 miles

Another chilly morning. Guess winter can't be too far behind.

A pretty easy ride over another Continental Divide crossing. Not really a climb at all. On the other side, passed Lewis Lake on my way out of the park. Finally saw one elk, a female. No horns but she still was pretty big. The last couple of nights I could hear their strange bugling but never saw them.

As I left Yellowstone, it got warmer but not by much. Actually a pretty nice temperature to ride. Stopped at Flagg Ranch for a snack and had a little chat with the ranger about my trip. Prices for food and such seemed to have gone way up since I was here in June. Plus, the road seems in much worse shape, especially the shoulder, than I remember.

The biggest surprise of the day was the view of the Tetons over Jackson Lake. Only the lake wasn't there. I'm only guessing, but the water level was so low, at least half the lake was gone. When I crossed the dam later in the day, it looked like the water remaining in the lake was barely above the river level. I'll have to ask someone about that. Weird.

Was amazed at the low water level of Jackson Lake

Had the most expensive sandwich the whole trip at Colter Bay. It was only 1PM, so I decided to push on to Jenny Lake. I had heard so many good things about it, that I was anxious to see it. I hope I haven't blown it up out of proportion.

More great views of the mountains and I noticed that some of the aspen leaves are starting to turn golden. Four German cyclists passed me but didn't stop even though I pulled over to their side of the road. Later, I did meet Nicolet and Ron from, you guessed it, Holland. They were headed west on the TransAm, then from Oregon on to New Zealand and Australia. When someone asked how so many Europeans could afford to travel for six months, his reply was "We don't own big gas guzzling cars!" Good answer.

Ron & Nicolet

The closer I got to Jenny Lake, the bigger the mountains became. The lake itself is right at the base of the Teton Range. And unlike Jackson Lake, the water is beautiful. I can see why this campground is always the first one filled in the Tetons.

This is a huge day-hiking area and you could tell everyone was taking advantage of the holiday and good weather because the parking lot was jam packed. Tomorrow I'll join the masses of people for a hike myself up Cascade Canyon.

As I approached the store to get more food (and ice cream ), who do I see sitting outside but Peter and Debbie, the Dutch couple I met on the way to Canyon. They had stopped for a rest before heading off to Jackson (Hole). When I commented on the stiff headwinds today, Peter spoke louder so Debbie could hear, "And we got a tailwind the whole way." as he winked at me. She didn't seem to excited about twenty more miles to town.

I'm camping with a trio of BOB (trailer) cyclists. Jesse, Greg and Joachim are riding a Great Divide-TransAm mixture from Colorado to Portland, OR. They all grew up together in Cincinnati, OH. Now Jesse is a ski instructor at Winter Park, CO. And Joachim has a fashion design job in New York. Greg plans on hanging out with Jesse this winter. Sat around, drinking a few beers, comparing Divide experiences. Sounds as if the Divide Basin near Rawlins, WY, is just as desolate as everyone imagines.

Joachim, Jesse & Greg

The moon is almost as bright as the sun tonight, lighting up the mountains. I can see why this is a special place to many.