Sunday, August 06, 2006

Thursday June 22 – Day 33 – Mack’s Inn, ID

Today was an absolute monster day. I cruised out this morning with no particular goal in mind except to ride by Jackson Lake early in the morning. That was all I hoped it would be – this big blue lake with the Tetons rising sharp in the background. Not a bad way to start out the day. From there it was up a little pass toward Yellowstone, then off the highway (finally) at Flagg Ranch, another little town set up by the Forest Service.

From there the route cut through under Yellowstone toward Idaho and the back side of the Tetons. There were some short steep ups and downs, but overall not too difficult of a ride. By 4 I was at a nice campground on the Warm River talking to the camp hosts. But I was feeling good, not quite ready to camp, and decided to push on and pull off when I felt ready. The next section was a 30 mile rail trail marked as “soft volcanic soils” (read: sand) so it seemed like a stretch to finish it.

But, I got going, and got in a rhythm and decided to make a push for town (read: shower and food). The rail trail wasn’t as bad as I expected, although it was plenty gnarly in spots. (There were lots of streambeds and puddles, and I actually took a pretty good digger at one point.) It was a nice change of pace, though, to do some vaguely technical riding after all that gravel. For most of it, the main thing was just to stay in the tire tracks and out of the loose stuff, and it wasn’t too bad.

I rolled in at 8, dog tired but feeling great, and ate an entire pizza. Some other folks from Wisconsin were there. They had been riding ATVs in some of the same spots that I had, including that rail grade. It blew their minds (and mine too for that matter) that I’d ridden 95 miles of that crap in a single day.

Day 33 stats:

95 miles (biggest day yet)
3500 feet up

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