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Saturday, 13 July 2013

The journey continues.....

Hello all, I would like to start by thanking every single person who has made a donation to Yorkshire Cancer Research.  We are over halfway to reaching our target, if we dont raise another penny the total to date is already superb.  Thank you all on behalf of Tom and I and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Day 21 - Missoula to Darby (Warm Shower Host) 5hrs 3mins in the Saddle, 67.33 miles, 13.3mph Average
Day 22- Darby - Jackson Hot Springs 6hrs 16mins, 72.45 m, 11.5mph Ave
Day 23 - Jackson Hot Springs - Dillon, 3hrs 33mins, 47.7 m, 13.4mph Ave
Day 24 - Dillon to Ennis, 5hrs 13mins, 73.12 m, 13.9mph Ave
Day 25 - Ennis to West Yellowstone, 5hrs 45mins, 73.63m, 12.7mph Ave
Day 26 -West Yellowstone to Grant Village (Yellowstone), 4hrs 40mins, 56.5m, 12mph Ave
Day 27 - Tourist Day in Yellowstone
Day 28 - Grant Village to Teton RV Park, 4hrs 12 mins, 59.77 m, 14.1 mph Ave
Day 29 - Teton RV Park to Debois, 3hrs 45 mins, 51.7 m, 13.7 mph Ave

Its been a good week on the bike - we have passed from Montana to Wyoming (our 4th state, high 5's), over the Continental divide at least 4 times, through Yellowstone Grand Teton National Parks and the weather has cooled. 

We have been cycling at an altitude of 5,000 feet plus for the past week, this means although still hot through the day it cools down quite dramatically in the evening which is great for sleeping.  We have cycled as high as 9,650 feet so we can definitely feel it on the lungs, we continue to go up for the next week or so culminating in the Hoosier pass which is 11,542 feet....something to look forward too.

A couple of stories from the week.  We arrived in Darby from Missoula, i was in the supermarket picking up some tins for dinner, daydreaming about whether the campsite would have a shower.  I was approached at the checkout by 3 generations of femal.  This is quite a common occurrence so i wasnt too surprised, one of the ladies then asked if i would like to stay with them, again i took this in my stride.  It turned out the youngest of the three alogn with her husband was a host on a website called warm showers.org in which generous individuals give up their garden/couch and shower for touring cyclists.  I was shocked but very gladly accepted, within 30 mins we were showered and sitting waiting for a 3 course meal, the hosts made us breakfast too.  Very humbling and yet another example of the generosity which has met us at almost every turn.

The day after the magnificent hospitality shown by our Warm Shower hosts, Tom and I stopped at a MacDonald's for some free re-fill Coke and Wifi.  We were telling some local kids about our trip (which was in defence and explanation as to why we were dressed like a couple of plonkers) when some guy passed us $40 and said 'welcome to America!' I am not sure what we said to invoke such generosity but despite Tom's protests i told him this would be donated to our charity and we were very grateful and humbled by his gesture.  Tom wanted to spend it on a couple of supersize meals, he is always eating.

Yellowstone was as advertised.  Spectacular scenery, an abundance of wildlife and even more tourists.  We had a great time and enjoyed our day off but truthfully i was almost happy to move on.  The roads were so busy it didnt feel safe, every second vehicle was a huge RV and roads are generally narrow.  Additionally we have already witnessed so much spectacular scenery on our trip WITHOUT the tourists Yellowstone didnt quite match up, difficult one to explain. 

The fitness levels continue to improve, although the mileage is still varied we are no longer absolutely shattered at the end of the day.

 Hitting the shops before we get on our way
 Brokeback mountain heroes
 Refreshments time
 Still in the wild west
Quake Lake - this lake was formed by an Earthquake in the 1950's, sadly a lot of people lost their lives.  The picture shows the location of a former campsite which was full on the night of the earthquake which caused a landslide and flash floods.

 Arrived in the town of West Yellowstone located at the gates of Yellowstone national park.  Yellowtone was the one place pre-trip we were most excited about.
 State #4
 Long eared deer, bike is the best way to see the wildlife in Yellowstone.  Although in the time we stopped to take a photo about 6 cars pulled up to see what we were looking at.  In Yellowstone there are frequently 'bear jams' 'elk jams' etc where the Cars/RV's just stop where they are and people jump out to take photos - mental.
 The geysers in the background, hundreds of them, a very cool cycle!
 We passed over the Continental divide 4 times in 2 days, this is the first, hence the enthusiasm.
 The Yellowstone Grand Canyon, the highlight of the park for me.  It was originally called simply the Grand Canyon before the one in Nevada stole its name, the bastard.
 Grand Teton, the other pre-trip highlight.  We need a new highlight now that they are both done.
 My Peanut butter bagel enjoyed with a view.  I love bagels.
 The Tetons with my bike in the forefront, amazing.
 It takes a good photographer to make this guy look cool
 Happy to be at the top of the pass, the post not so happy.
Yellowstone, this was as close as i dared go. Just less than a ton.  Something to aspire too.

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