13 August 2010

Togwatee Pass and The Tetons

There aren't many pics of the ride from the Lava Mountain Lodge Campground to the top of Togwatee Pass because it was raining pretty hard the entire time and I didn't want to get the camera wet.  Once again we had to get a ride, this time for about 4-5 miles, since they were doing some serious road work.  The pilot truck took us to the top on dirt roads.

We were already really cold but when we got to the top it was much colder, in the 40's, and windy, and still raining quite hard.  We searched through our bags and put on several layers in an attempt to get warm.  It helped some but mostly we just got more clothes wet.  And then we saw this sign so we knew we weren't going to get warmed up using pedal power.  Not this time.  Instead we got blow dried on the way down, and man was it COLD.  But, the sun came out right after we began our descent, and by the time we got to the bottom, we were dry.  :)
Weeeee!  Brrrrrr!
Due to the construction we had the road to ourselves, other than the few times when they let the traffic through.  The road was so smooth and the area was beautiful.  We ran into these two about 8 miles down.
They asked us where the trucks were, you know, the ones that give you a ride over the pass...  Ken looked at our odometer and told them they had about 8 more miles to go.  The German guy said, "Well, that can't be right.  In 8 more miles we should be at the top."  Ken said, "Oh, dude, I hate to tell you this, but you're going the wrong way if you want a ride UP the pass.  You are getting a ride DOWN it."  I wish I could explain to you the look we saw take over this man's face.  It was as though his entire being deflated and it was a few minutes before he could join the conversation with a smile again.  lol  Poor guy.  We know that feeling.

While we chatted with them, Ken walked Simon and we found what we think is a moose track.  Look closely.  It's nearly as big as Ken's paw, I mean foot.
Yikes!  After several glances into the treelines and up the hills, we got back on our trikes and started coasting again.  Ken watched the bike computer and the temp slowly crept up as we coasted down.
The rain clouds that had passed over us were now in front of us and where we were supposed to get that first incredible sighting of the Tetons we had heard so much about, we instead saw this:
Tetons?  What Tetons?  They are there but you can't see them.

The next day we would see them MUCH better.  This was kind of a let down, and by the time we reached the destination for the day, Teton RV Park, it was WINDY and raining again.  We got a little cabin for just $9 more than they charged for tent sites.  Nice!
See that "football" over there on the ground by my trike?  It's not a football.  It's a rock.  Ask Ken how he found that out.  Snicker.
We met a couple in the store and they gave Ken some stuff for altitude sickness.  Instead of diluting it like the instructions say, he just put some directly into his mouth via the dropper and look what happened:
Green teeth!  Ew!!  Thing is, they STAYED this way for several hours so when we talked to people I felt the need to explain Ken's green lips and teeth.  He didn't seem to care that much, but then he didn't have to look at them so he just forgot about it.  It was funny for a long time.  :)
Finally the next morning around 5:30 I got to see the Tetons.  The pink sky was incredible, and I woke Ken up to see it.  Unfortunately all these RVs were in the way and I couldn't get a clear shot of them.  There would be plenty of opportunities for that later in the day though.  Plenty.  In fact, right after we left the CG we saw them without anything in the way.
They are gorgeous mountains. 
See that little hiker in the bottom right hand corner?  That's Jim.
He's a retired dairy farmer who is walking the Continental Divide.  I liked him very much.  Ken talked to him for a long time the night before since he stayed where we stayed.  I spoke with him the next morning before we left, and then we stopped again for this short chat.
Then we all entered the Teton National Park together. See the sign in back?
The scenery would just keep getting better and better from here.
A bike belonging to an eastbounder...
who was taking pictures.  We waved hello to him and then a few moments later we saw an RV pass us by.  It was one of those fancy bus kinds.  It stopped and a man in an orange shirt got out and flagged us down.  We pulled over and he walked up to us and put some folded up bills in my hand!  Then another person came out of the bus and did the same thing!  Then another, and another, and another!  They said they liked what we were doing, and said, God Bless, and then we took some pictures and they were gone.  It was so amazing!  We got $80, which more than covered the cost of the cabin we'd gotten the night before.  It also paid for the next two nights of camping and a meal! Thank you guys if you are reading this!!
Our generous friends.
Thank you so much!!  God Bless you too!!!
A little farther up the road we ran into some more construction.  We sat in line right here for awhile, but then the guy with the sign waved us up to the front and told us to go ahead and get our stuff ready to throw into the back of the pilot truck.  I can just imagine the groans coming from the people in the cars who had already been waiting there for 30 minutes when they saw us pull up in front of them.  Sorry bout that.
Front of the line.
Back of the truck.  They only took us about a mile, then dropped us off near the chapel.  We went inside and found the log cabin church to be simple and comfy.  They still hold mass there every week.
And look at their stained glass window:
Sacred Heart.  Made me think of Alex.  :)


  1. I'm really enjoying following your travels. We met at a church on 98 in Franklin County, NC. I asked you about your trailers.

    At any rate, I thought you might be interested in this article.

  2. You have so much interesting, cool and funny stuff I don't know where to begin. At least ken is ready for Halloween

  3. (Jen) I remember you, Anonymous, but I can't recall your name... Thanks for that story! Awesome!

    LOL Mark! Glad you enjoyed it.