Wednesday, July 22, 2009

AK '09 - Day 32

Waking up at the Old Faithful Inn was a treat. When I looked out my window it appeared as though the ground was on fire with all of the steam rising from the geysers, springs and pools. The temperature had dropped after dark so it was really comfortable sleeping with just a fan.

We got up at 6 and went down to breakfast at 6:30. They offered a buffet and regular menu items. The buffet had French Toast but not much of anything else I wanted so I opted to just order French Toast with bacon and 2 fried eggs. Afterwards, we went back to our rooms to pack.

At 8:15 we met down at the bikes and got everything loaded up. Then we needed to run over to the visitor center for a stamp, and the gift shop for a t-shirt. Once that was done we went back to the bikes and got on the road. It was 9am when we pulled out of the parking lot.

We went up to Grand Prism spring to check it out. Unfortunately the cool morning air and the boiling water didn't make for a good combination. I think a warm breezy day would give you a better view of the spring. But it was amazing to watch as the steam rose in different colors.

We got back on the bikes to head out of the park via the south entrance. We had to back track a ways but eventually left the park. When we did, we found the mother of all construction delays which hung us up for 44 minutes. Welcome to Grand Teton National Park.

When we finally got through the construction we went down the road and stopped at the Jackson Lake Lodge for lunch. We had been told there was an amazing view in the restaurant and the food was great. The view was wonderful and the food was good. Portions were definitely plentiful.

We continued south through the park stopping at 2 other visitor centers to get passport stamps. The route we took basically kept us in the valley of the park. So it was hot, and since we were sort of limited on time we couldn't explore some of the higher elevation roads which would have taken us into the Tetons and back to my childhood memories. After leaving Yellowstone it was really just a travel day on slow roads with a few stops for stamps.

When we got to Jackson, WY we headed west on Hwy 22, the Teton Pass, as the name indicates we went over the mountains. The road was fun but heavily congested so it was just another road for much of it. I did manage to find a few curves devoid of traffic though.

22 took us into Idaho and onto Hwy 33 North toward Tetonia. We ran into more construction, this time they were spraying oil and spreading gravel. What a mess! Reagan and I were being pelted by gravel from the front wheels of the Spyder. But eventually we rode into Tetonia and found our motel. Check-in was easy, Reagan secured some ice, and I headed to do laundry in the RV park.

Dinner was questionable at first. The clerk recommended the only place in town but you never know what they consider to be "actually good food". After doing laundry we headed over to the North End Bar & Grill and had a surprisingly good dinner. There was only one waitress for the entire place but the food was good. If it would have been next door to the motel that would have been even better, but the short drive 3 or 4 blocks wasn't a problem.

Reagan didn't do much of the driving today. She took the seat between 2 visitor centers in the park, then gave it back to me as we were crossing Teton Pass and she wasn't up to trying something like that. Or so she said, I think she was just being nice and let me have the fun twisties of the pass. She's the best!

Tomorrow we have a longer day, 338 miles. That's longer because we've been riding around in parks. I expect the temperature to get warmer over the next 4 days too. I've gotten spoiled of low to mid 70's and that's going to quickly disappear. Today we climbed into the 80's. By Saturday we'll probably be happy to start out in the high 70s.

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