To Signal Mountain Lodge - The Yellowstone Ride - CycleBlaze

June 14, 1995

To Signal Mountain Lodge

Today's ride was the perfect antidote to yesterday's pain - 35 miles of flat or gently rolling roads, with amazing scenery as the backdrop.  After fueling up this morning on bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and pancakes I cycled north through the heart of Jackson Hole for thirteen miles along the main highway to Moose.  Skies were partly cloudy, with the broken cumulus cover high enough off the valley floor that I could enjoy a feeling of the Tetons, with the peaks occasionally appearing from behind swirling clouds.  I stopped frequently to admire the views, and once to confirm with my binoculars a pronghorn antelope sighting in the sage a quarter mile off the highway - the first of several pronghorn sightings today.  I was quite pleased to find that the traffic was relatively light - it looks like I've made the right choice and have come to the mountains early enough in the season to miss the worst of the tourist season.

At Moose I stopped in at the Teton Park information center to gather a map of the park and hiking suggestions, and then stayed around for about a half hour to wait out a short rainstorm before proceeding into the park.  Another 12 miles of beautiful traffic-free riding along the shores of Jenny Lake brought me to Jenny Lodge, where I locked up the bike and prepared for a hike.

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The weather has slowly but steadily improved throughout the day, and by now there are occasional glimpses of the peaks.   They look quite ghostlike as the clouds move across them, exposing one peak as they shroud its neighbor.

I had quite a nice eight mile hike, first walking along the shore of String Lake and then climbing a mile or so up the route to Paintbrush Canyon, until I was forced to turn back by snow covering the trail.  The snow level on the ground is between 7,500 and 8,000 feet.  At one point I broke for about fifteen minutes beneath the barely adequate boughs of a young spruce to wait out a brief shower.  The descent, which traversed the slope above String Lake, provided fine views of the lake basin and neighboring peaks. 

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I ended my hike by enjoying my granola bars on the rocking chair on the porch of the lodge, sitting in the sun and soaking up the amazing panorama of the Tetons.

An easy eight miles brought me to Signal Mountain Lodge, the end of the day's ride.  After checking in to my cabin (quite elegant, and more than I really needed) I showered and then walked down to the shore to sit in the sun and watch the clouds gradually blow off the peaks across Jackson Lake - exposing one peak after the other, each one a surprise as it slowly emerged from the mist.

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Keith AdamsBeautiful and forbidding at the same time.
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1 month ago

For dinner I ate from the store - granola, yogurt, cheese, raisins and beer - the five essentials in a balanced diet.  I sampled them in my cabin as I read my first title of the trip: The Statement, by Brian Moore.  Around sundown I called Shawn to wish him well at the custody hearing, and then read myself to sleep.

I couldn’t say why it’s comforting to find that I still have his title on my shelf. It says something about paper nought - I don’t think I’d get a thrill from realizing it was still in my Kindle library.
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Elevation gain: today, 1,200’; for the tour, 7,400’

Today's ride: 35 miles (56 km)
Total: 125 miles (201 km)

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