Zen On Dirt

CDT Day 71 – When forced into roads, eat good food.

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Today we rode from one lovely Grizzly Cabin to another, this one at Flagg Ranch between Teton National Park and Yellowstone. This one costs a little more than $25, doesn’t have electricity or heat, but it’s plenty warm out and a headlight shined at the ceiling is providing all the light we need. And the beds are bigger than at Lava Mountain. Big plus. Big thanks to Rick for writing about these things in his blog when he came through earlier this summer.

We slept in, knowing that all we had in front of us was 60 some odd miles of good dirt roads and pavement to get to Flagg where we had a reservation for our little box in the grizzly-infested woods. If I could sleep in one of these every night the whole way through Montana…

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Breakfast was frozen burritos at the Lava Mountain Lodge store. As the old cowboy there said, “In Wyoming, it doesn’t matter what food tastes like, it just has to make a turd.”

Eloquently put…I think.

We took our time loading up, buying a few trail snacks and some breakfast ice cream. And we were off. A mile in, Scott realized he forgot to return the cabin key, so he went back. Take two. We were off.

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We climbed up Brooks Lake road, hoping that the drenching rains from last night had dried out overnight. They had and we had a lovely climb up, chatting the whole way partially for entertainment and partially to keep the bears away. It’s a notorious section of road for bears, I saw two griz cubs on my TD run. We saw none this time through.

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We found two TransAm cyclotourists at the top and chatted for a bit. They marveled at how little we were carrying. We marveled at how much they had. Even if we had our entire bounce box with us, we still wouldn’t have touched the amount of stuff they were carrying.

We cruised down to Togwotee Lodge for lunch. Pulled pork sandwiches, curly fries, fast Wi-Fi, what more could two bike tourists ask for?

Then off we went, singing, down the road, another section known for its bears. We saw none as we dropped down into the valley where we had to resume pedaling. We both agreed that coasting was better.

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We skirted a rainstorm that finally hit us as we got to the entrance station to Teton National Park. We hid under a ranger cabin, refusing to wait in line with cars in the rain. When it finally let up, we paid our $12 and proceeded into the park.

Making good on our commitment to being tourists, we stopped at overlooks, we read plaques, we took lots of pictures. We timed it perfectly, getting into the park at 5:30, traffic was minimal and we got to enjoy the somewhat freshly paved road without the constant fear of getting run over by an RV.

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We stopped at Coulter Bay to pick up some trail food for tomorrow’s dawn start and had another ice cream, just because we could. Touring is awesome. Scott’s beard is awesome.

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Another 15 miles of pedaling brought us to Flagg Ranch and an open restaurant! (During TD, I missed lunch by 15 minutes, it was heartbreaking.)

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We dined, confirmed Rick’s assessment of “crummy” internet, bought some chocolate for dessert and retired to our little box.

Tomorrow, geyser hunting, RV dodging, and hopefully wildlife (and tourist) viewing. I can’t wait.

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