Jackson to Dubois, WY

It was a pretty chilling morning while we packed up our tents and other gear, and although the sun shined brilliantly on the Tetons, the cloulds hovered very low over the range, obscuring the view of the peaks. The bike route had about a 10-mile warm-up stretch into and out of Jackson, breakfast was an outdoor cowboy-style café outside of town called Dornan’s. The pancakes were the best-tasting that we had ever had so far on the tour.

There was a small row of shops next door, including a bike shop. They had this little recumbent grocery-getter made by Giant; I rode it around the parking lot, and it felt quite comfortable and secure in my impaired condition. But it had these little 16-inch wheels on both the front and rear, which would have made the miles take their toll pretty heavily on those long days on the road. At $570, it was tempting to try to use it to get back on the road at least for a few days, even partial days, but I thought better of it and passed on the deal. I thought about it days afterward, wondering if I should have bought it. To satisfy my need for retail therapy, however, there was an outdoor store next-door, where I bought a thermometer zipper pull and a titanium camp utenstil set.

At lunch today, I set my bike up on the magnetic trainer that Jeremy had ordered for me. We were near the top of Togwotee Pass, which look back over the Teton Valley from where we had come. I did an hour of spinning, had a few snacks, then did another hour, then ate my lunch. The spinning time went quickly, with the scenery to enjoy all around, and with the other riders passing through to talk to. My collar bone felt fine, although I rode most of the time with either just my left hand, or no hands on the bar. It felt good to be pedaling, at least.

I had to wait for the last van trip into Dubois, after the staff had taken down the picnic stop. By the time we got to the high school, I just had time to hang my tent to dry on the fence outside, plus hang up some of my clothes in the gym, the ones that got damp in my duffles during the thunderstorm the night before. Dinner was at a local diner down the street called Daylight Donuts.

After dinner, I took a shower, caught up on some of this writing, then went to bed fairly early. Today is one of the many days that I’ve been learning to appreciate the small, incremental improvements in my condition each day, the kinds of thing that you would never think about unless you actually have an injury like mine. For example, one day last week, I was able to tie my own shoelaces for the first time. Only as of today do I feel flexible and independent enough to make it worth the effort to start to shower and shave on a regular basis, although I still need to set aside a significant block of time for the process to accomplish these tasks.

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