31 Jul 2010, 8:19pm
1 comment

tetons, togwotee, thunderstorms, oh my!

curled up in my tent while the storm moves in. a.’s at a lecture at the local history museum, but i ran home when the wind whipped up ’cause i’d left some laundry draped on a picnic table. we spent the day in dubois, wyoming–been here since yesterday evening. we’re ahead of schedule (due to a route change–we’re gonna ride to boulder and possibly denver, via rocky mountain national park and trail ridge road, over the highest paved pass in north america, or something like that) so we’re taking it really easy… we’re actually planning to spend two(!) days in lander after we get there tomorrow evening. i want to maybe go horseback riding and/or river rafting. depending on the weather, i guess. the storms seem to only come in at night.

all right–grand teton national park–

there’s a spur on our route to jackson, wyoming, for those who want to see more of the park and check out jackson. we planned on taking it, and then i lost our park pass (whoops), so we would’ve had trouble getting back in without paying again once we went out to jackson. then we planned on going partway down the spur, to moose or jenny lake (both still in the park). then we stopped to buy some food and make some lunch at colter bay, less than 40 miles from grant village, where we’d spent the previous night, and met some awesome westbounders, nick and mac. we ended up sharing a campground with them and their loose group of fellow travelers. mac is also carrying a ukulele! but as she put it to someone else who asked her, “after a long day of riding you mostly just want to make dinner and go to bed.” may or may not send our uke home with a. when he leaves. it might be nice company when i’m solo.

anyway, had a fun evening hanging out with them and their friends, and set off in the morning for dubois, skipping the spur entirely. obviously in retrospect we had plenty of time to ride some of it, but it’s nice to be taking it easy, too. when we got to west yellowstone, i was so very very tired–an easier week or so = awesome. we saw some gorgeous views of the tetons anyway.


(a., nick, mac, rich)


(mac)

there was a badly-organized indian arts museum in colter bay, with a little bit of noble savage stuff goin’ on in the descriptive blurbs. i have a lot of thinkings saved up about imperialism and stuff that i might write about after a. leaves and i have all kinds of time alone with my thoughts and my netbook. they did also have a little craft demonstration area, with indian artisans working on pieces and offering them for sale. there was a woman there who was weaving. i really enjoyed watching her work.

(thistle)

finally we left the tetons behind us and began the climb up to togwotee pass. first we stopped at a ranger station to fill our water bottles, and two rangers there were chatting about the grizzly attack in yellowstone. a. asked, “does that kind of thing happen often?” and the ranger said no, but proceeded to nonchalantly scare the shit out of us anyway with various tales of attacks and maulings. off we headed into the woods.

this was our longest climb since mckenzie pass, but it wasn’t too steep. after we got to the top, we ran into construction, and we actually had to ride in the back of a pilot truck down a few miles. totally unfair! nick and mac had told us about the construction–they’d gotten a ride UP the mountain, and got to coast on their bikes down! it was kind of fun anyway to bounce along in the back of a pick-up truck (brought back fond memories of puna).

we still got to ride fast all the way into dubois.

ate an entire 16″ pizza (really yummy! at a place called paya), played with the puppy staying at the campsite next to ours, did laundry, went to bed. did not set an alarm! woke up early anyway. darn it.

today we visited the “FREE JACKALOPE EXHIBIT” at a local gas station/general store,

(note the taxidermied jackalope droppings as well)


(take home your very own jackalope trophy!)

the dubois museum,


(that is a needlepoint diagram of layers of rock formation in the dubois area!)

and the national bighorn sheep interpretive center. also wandered around town:

(coolest drinking fountain ever?)

(hopefully the closest i come to getting mauled by a bear)

that’s all she wrote (tonight). see you in lander!

p.s. my friend lauren in puna let me know today that pele (via kilauea) has swallowed up fox’s landing, the little beach where i spent a magical, healing day two years ago. i’m grateful to pele for letting me take what i needed from that sacred place before she took it back. it seems fitting (if sad) that i will never go back again. to the island, though–yes!

31 Jul 2010, 9:36pm
by Matt C.


I believe I actually have something useful to say: I understand bears are mad for mint toothpaste. They’ll tear campsites apart to get to it. So if you find yourself threatened by a bear, you could use that as a diversion.

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