The trip to Dubois yesterday really wiped me clean. I hobbled into the Whiskey Saloon. I fit right in with the biker crowd. For once in my life I had a meaner beard than some of the folks at the bar. I ended up crossing paths with a cyclist I had met a day earlier at breakfast. Ken is retired, and from England (kenstransamride.blogspot.com). He has been traveling the TransAm as well but plans to break off in Montana and go straight towards Seattle. We shared a meal. But Ken was an early to bed early to rise kind of guy, so he was off (we would meet again, and again).
After Ken left, Leo and Sandy arrived, the two had battled the treacherous wind all day. They had offered to split a motel room in Dubois when we met much earlier in the day. They made it, so split a room we did. That was after another beer and another meal at the Whiskey Saloon. Since it was a Friday, there was a live band. The guy was a regular chip off the old block of Johnny Cash. I had a great time.
Something worth noting about Dubois, it was established originally as a place for Indians to winter their horses. The wind blows so much up here that the snow never stays on the ground. I can see how that would be advantageous.
Leo and Sandy were great. Two retired GM workers from Erie, PA, they still had a lot of spunk. They decided to take the day off to recover from the wind. I pushed on into (an unfortunately through) the Grand Tetons.
I got to the park gate just after six. The ride up to the Grand Tetons from the south was spectacular. This place is so natural, almost timeless.
The goal of a National Park is to conserve. It's places like the Grand Tetons that you just have to have respect for whomever thought it was a good idea to preserve nature in all of its glory. That being said, I still have some beef with the operation. Being a Saturday and all, every campground in the park was sold out. There is supreme irony in the situation where a National Park has no vacancy (really?). There's no room for a guy who rode 2,500 miles on a bicycle, but there is room for the RVs, minivans, and SUVs. I thought this place was about conservation? I used a heck of a lot less fossil fuels than those people did to get here. Anyways, just another flaw with the government. No use arguing with them. You'll get more valuable opinions from a brick wall.
I had dinner at the park (met Ken again). Then I had to forge through much further than I had planned for the day, out of the park, and into the national forest. I was able to find a clearing off the road before it got too dark. I will say this, I was kind of nervous about the bears. I mean I was by myself out in the wilderness. What can you do? It was a great experience. And to make lemons out of lemonade, I've found one more reason to disenfranchise people from their government (the whole no room for a guy on a bicycle thing).
Tomorrow I will see Olde Faithful. I'm actually very excited about that. And one more thing before I forget. I made a snowball today. It's much colder up here in Wyoming than when I was in Colorado. At 10,000 ft snow was readily available so I took a break to throw a couple snow balls as far as I could. It was quite the novelty considering it was July 23.