Ashton, ID to Jackson, WY

I rode in the second SAG van again today, with Meryl at the wheel, and Robert along for the ride, giving his bad knee another rest day. The morning part of the route passed through rolling hills of green wheat and soy, accented occasionally by fields of brilliant yellow canola. The Tetons were visible off to the left.

Lunch was in a park in the town of Driggs. We didn’t hang around long; we proceeded on through the town of Victor, then soon after, crossed the border into Wyoming, as the route headed up and over the Teton Pass. This challenging climb involved grades of 10% at times.

The descent from the pass ended in the town of Wilson (pop. 35). The Teton Village KOA, our overnight for the next two nights, was a few miles further on. We made a brief stop there, but Meryl needed to run some errands, so I decided to hitch a ride with her into the town of Jackson. She dropped me off at the visitor center around 11:45am, where I got a map and started to explore the town. I wanted to check out all of the bike shops; I had this notion that I could find some kind of recumbent bike or other contraption that I would be able to ride right away.

I stopped at a couple of outdoor stores to browse on my way to the first bike shop. I picked up some spare tent stakes at a climbing shop. The first bike shop, Teton Cycle Works, was closed. The second, Hoback Sports, was a nice shop, but did not have any promising bikes. I looked at a couple of new helmets, though. Nearby was a GART Sports (a discount sporting goods store), where I bought a tent stake mallet. The next bike shop was The Edge Sports, right across the street. It seemed like mainly a mountain bike and downhill-oriented shop.

The last bike shop was called Fitzgerald’s. It was a cool, funky little place, in a great location directly behind the Snake River Brewery. Seeing nothing of interest in the shop, I headed on to the brewery and found a nice outdoor table in the shade, and had a bowl of vegetable soup to hold me over for dinner, and a great cask-conditioned Konzer Stout.

The street back towards the center of town took me past Hoback Sports again, so I went in and decided to by a new helmet to replace my old one dented in the crash. I settled on the Giro Monza road helmet; they had a nice blue one, but it was large and I take a medium, so I had to settle for a white one.

Across the street I found a place called MounTunes, which is an Internet café and music store. I ordered a mocha latte and caught up on e-mail.

I needed to find a bus to get me back to the KOA; I found a stop on Pearl Street in front of another café called Rock Betty’s, which I guess was supposed to cater to female rock climbers, but was filled mostly with young families. I had about 45 minutes to kill before the bus came by, so I sat down and ordered a bottle of Snake River Pale Ale.

When the bus came, I didn’t have the exact fare required, but the driver was pretty cool and made change of a $20 bill for me out of his pocket. We chatted the whole way back to the KOA. He was a 70 year old retired biochemist, now living in Victor, ID. Back at camp, I got my tent set up, then chatted for a while as we all tried to figure out what to do for dinner (we were on our own for meals again, as tomorrow is a rest day). Robert, Ken, Meg, and I decided to take the bus back into town. On the way, I mentioned the Snake River Brewery, and they all thought that sound like a good idea. I had a green chilli burrito, and of course, more Konzer Stout.

After dinner, I met up with a large group at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. I was talking to Molly a bit here, and she said the she and a few other riders were talking during the ride today about my situation, and they decided that until I can start riding again, they will unofficially be riding in support of The Melanoma Research Foundation in my place. Their symbolic gesture really means a lot to me, so I wanted to mention them here for everyone to acknowledge. I may have left out some who were involved in the conversation; the ones I know of are Molly Kelly and Marisa Uchin from Washington, DC, and Brian Hall from Tulsa, Okalhoma.

Later, a few of us went to another bar called the Silver Dollar to help Aussie Matt celebrate his 25th birthday. We ended up staying past last call, and caught a taxi back to the KOA around 12:30am.

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