Friday, July 10, 2009

Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Parks

On July 2nd we rolled into Yellowstone National Park. We explored the park by bike until the 8th seeing amazing geyser basins (which look like they should be on another planet), canyons, sulfur hot springs and everything else Yellowstone. The park was quite crowded with people, mostly RVs and car campers. Yellowstone had great deals for hiker/bikers. five dollar campsites just reserved for hikers/bikers. The rangers and staff treated us much differently since we weren't like the rest of the crowd which hardly ever gets 100 feet from their car. One lady Amy, who worked in one of the lodges gave us her employee ID card. We'll see if it ever comes in handy. In the park we meet a lot of nice people, most of them hikers/bikers. On the 8th we left Yellowstone for Grand Teton National Park. There was some road construction through out the way and at one point the construction workers gave us a lift through a one lane route in the bed of their pick up. Grand Teton is amazing! We have camped along Jackson Lake for the past two nights, taking short day hikes when we feel up for it. Yellowstone was great but the vibe of Teton is much better. A lot less touristy/amusement park feel and a more active crowd. Right now we are sitting in the beautiful Jackson Lake Lodge looking out at the sharp Teton peaks. The plan is to ride/camp in the park until the 13th where we will then head to the town of Jackson,WY. The Parks have been amazing so far but one thing they lack is the "Trail Magic" of the Great Divide Route.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Boulder, CO (Jeff's post)

I am home, resting the knee, if you consider exploring the mountains resting. I head to Boulder Canyon, hike through the hills looking for amazing climbing spots. There is a river, whitewater and rushing through (its high and fast this time of year). Here and there are ropes to cross over on. I put on my harness, clip and, and cliffhanger style I pull myself across. At one point I dipped a little low and half my body was imersed into the rushing river.

Acutal climbing will take place sunday. I will try and maybe hike Pikes Peak this week.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


After a 6am hail storm we departed Upper Lake for Island Park, Idaho. We crossed the continental Divide at 7,800 feet and descended into Idaho. Out of Montana after nearly 750 miles. The Idaho side of the divide was full of trees and mountains unlike the sagebrush plains of southwest Montana. After a fairly easy 32miles we arrived in Island Park, ID. We chowed on 5 dollar foot longs and relaxed in the park. We decide to stay here for the night instead of riding the extra 2 miles off route to a campground. We were eventually kicked out because the park was owned by the RV park across the street. The owner let us stay camp for free on one of his sites if we left the park by night fall. Can't complain with that. We spent the night at the gas station eating a dinner of chili cheese dogs and a dessert of carmel sunday cones. Fred then came up with an idea to alter our route and ride to Seattle. We soon realized this was unreasonable but did some brain storming and decide to spend the next two weeks biking Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. We couldn't be this close to the parks and not spend some time in them. As we fell asleep an insane thunderstorm came and went in a matter of 10 minutes.

Upper Lake Camp

Today Jeff departed at 8am with "The Pirate" of Lima, MT. It was strange riding without him. The ride was a long, windy battle over 57 miles with spectacular scenery! The route took us through the Red Rocks National Wildlife Refuge and skirted the Centenial Mountains. The headwind was so brutal at one point that it took about 45minutes to ride 3 miles. around mile 50 We took a break at the ranger station in Lakeview, MT to eat dinner at a picnic table. Ramen and Chef Boyardee, yum. The rangers even let us use their microwave inside. As the station was closing Fred asked a Ranger about vending machines in town and was told there were none. But the Nice Ranger lady walked over to her house and brought back 2 sprites and 2 mikes hard lemonade. nice cold drinks to relax with once we got to camp. At Upper Lake Camp the mosquitos were terrible. So terrible that we built a fire to fend them off then took shelter in the bivys by 9pm.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Two and one

We wake up and pack up camp quick. 'The Pirate' and Darrel show up at 8am, we load Jeff's bike and gear into the truck. We say our goodbyes and Jeff leaves for Dillon while Fred and Paul venture onward towards Idaho.

The story doesnt end here, dont worry.

Jeff will go to Denver, get another bike (hopefull Specialize will deal with their failure of a bike and get him a new one) and he will rejoin the others in about 2 weeks in Wyoming or when they arrive in Winter Park, CO. Until then he plans on hiking, mountain biking (more extreme), rock climbing, and enjoying the freedom of life.

Fred and Paul will update the blog as they go while Jeff makes an offshoot for his own adventures (if you are interested in reading them). Those two are gonna have good times and meet amazing people and I (Jeff) wish them luck, and until I catch up to them, best wishes.

Caption- Jeff rushes to beat the storm by Wise River and thinks to himself "Damn Z-Spokes!"

The party continues to Lima (Lime-ah)

A sunset at 945pm

We wake up and hit up the RatPod breakfast. Biscuits and gravy, hashbrowns, eggs, oatmeal, banana bread, cereals, fruits, juice, and again all free! We have thrown donations towards the cause to help it.

We call up Joe, the local bike shop owner and he opens on Sunday just for us. We buy the right spokes (they're even made in Montana unlike those damn Z-Spokes), the spline tool, and some tubes. We head out and take the interstate all the way to Lima.

Halfway there, Jeff gets a flat up front. We stop and fix it, seeing a piece of glass caused it. Then another hole is on the tube. Two flats on a brand new tube. Just as we are putting the wheel together, the back tire blows out! As if it was stabbed!!! Nobody touched the bike, we all just stared at it. We took it apart and found a big hole, but no cause. We peddal on. 2.5 miles from Lima the front tire goes flat again. The patch didnt hold. We use another. Now there are 5 patches on the new tube from that day. We arrive in Lima as the tube goes flat again.

After buying food we are going to pump the tire and go to the park. We get near the bike and the back tire blows again!!! WHAT THE HELL!? Nobody touched it, Fred and Paul just stare, and Jeff breaks something and smashes another thing. We walk to the park.

After learning and accepting that things happen for a reason, Jeff feels that because of his knees and all the problems with his bike (for no reason and without provocation), he must make the adult decision to pull out. He gets a ride back to Dillion in the morning with "The Pirate" and his friend Darrel. We hit up the local saloon, have a farewell drink, and head to bed in the town park.

A clear night with plenty of stars in the sky, and the sun still setting at 10pm.

Rat Pod! Dillion to Dillon?!

We wake up to a gorgeous morning, hot sun beating down on us. We see road cyclists going by, about 20 or so before we head out. Then more come around the corner. And more. And more. We begin yelling a question to each group to find out whats going on. We find out its the Rat Pod charity ride. Another yells there are 550 riders. We were very confused when we asked where the starting point was (Dillon) and then the ending point (also Dillon). This ride is a charity ride that is 130 miles in a day around the Pioneer Mountains to raise money for Camp Make-a-Dream. A very cool event and so many bikers. They all claimed we were headed the wrong way and food was back the other way.

At the top of the peak, Jeff hears a ting and realizes he blew a spoke on his back wheel. Without the right tool we cant fix it. We flag down the mechanic thats for the ride, he helps us, only to realize that the spokes Jeff got from his mechanic back in RI were the wrong size. Great. Thanks to Richie, the mechanic for the help on the mnt.

We head down the hill and hit up elkhorn hotsprings, and asked the two colorful individuals working where the nearest bike shop is. 45 miles away. Damn. We make a sign out of a pepsi box, and after several cars, one stops. Its perfect! Three empty bike racks and he was in the RatPod ride, heading to dillon. Kevin is a true live saver, driving us and saving us a day and a half of biking.

We make it in time for the party! And what a party!!!! We dine on pulled pork, pasta salad, cookies, pie, ice cream, cake, chips, soda, free beer! I make tons of friends, all crazy bikers who did the 130 miles. And take advantage of all the free beer! I meet the people working the event, JB who works for adventure cycling and Leta and Marissa who work for the camp. Another crazy biker is Don, a mechanic from Missoula who fixes Jeff's wheel for FREE!!!!

Jeff gets on stage with the band and asks the crowd about free camping or a place to stay. We are told we can sleep at the football field at Western Montanta Univ. where the party is.

We hang out and meet more people, have more beer and food, get free bagels and bananas, and sleep for free. AMAZING DAY!! For everything bad that has happened, something amazing comes from it.

Goddamn Z-spokes...