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Messages - jamawani

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Ross -

I live in Wyoming and have been here since 1990.
I live near the Bighorns, now, but was in Jackson in the 1990s.

You will be lucky if you even see a bear. Extra lucky if you see a grizzly.
You won't have a problem riding unless you do remote trails and startle a bear.

The real issue is camping. Make sure you use bear-safe camping practices.
Always store or hang your food and toiletry items.
Never eat in your tent - not in Wyoming, not in Kansas, not in Jersey.
If you have, it may be wise to wash out you tent with unscented soap
and let it dry in the summer sun. (Bears have 2100X the nose you have.)

I have never had a single problem in decades of hiking and cycling.

About Yellowstone.
Teton Pass is closed and, if reopened, will have monster traffic.
The key is to start early and, if needed, do some later riding.
Roads are busiest 9a to 5p.

Since you are westbound I'll give you specifics.
There's fantastic hiker/biker camping at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton NP.

Jenny Lake to Flagg Ranch - 35 mi
You have all day. I'd stop at String Lake and do the short hike up to Leigh Lake.
String Lake has some of the most spectacular vistas.
The park road is slower and has moderate traffic.
When you get to US 89 is will be busier, but with a small shoulder.
Then there's a chunk of a climb to Flagg Ranch.
There's a camp store and restaurant at Flagg Ranch.
I like treating myself to an early dinner there because ...

Flagg Ranch to Lewis Lake - 14 mi, 1000 ft. climb
I like to do this after 6p. The road is steep in places without any shoulder.
There is a lot of traffic leaving the park southbound, but very little northbound.
And I prefer Lewis Lake to Grant Village even with the mosquitos.
Grant Village is huge and noisy - I rarely get much sleep there.
Hiker/biker camping at Lewis Lake.

Lewis Lake to Lake Village - 30 miles
I like to leave at dawn, skipping Grant Village altogether.
I do like to stop at West Thumb and enjoy the geysers when it is empty.
Then I follow the shore of Yellowstone Lake to Lake Village.
If before 8a, light traffic and small shoulders.
Make sure to take Gull Point Road and enjoy a secret, unvisited place.
then there's a rough bike trail along the old roadbed to Lake Village.
(Higher bear risk on the trail - you can also stay on the road.)
There's a camp store and lunch counter,
but the Lake Hotel dining is lovely, if you don't smell too bad.
(You can always do a quick sponge bath in the restroom.)

The views of Yellowstone Lake are stupendous.
You can head over to Fishing Bridge and the visitors center there.
Plus do a few short hikes along the lake shore.
Again, I would wait until after 6p to ride to Canyon.

Fishing Bridge to Canyon - 16 mi
Hayden Valley is the Serengeti of America.
But riding later you will have far less traffic and more wildlife.
The road sucks - narrow, no shoulders, and crumbling edge.
But it is truly worth it. Plus there are hiker/biker sites at Canyon
so you don't have to rush.

Canyon has showers, laundry, a big camp store, restaurants, visitors center.
Plus it has some of the best hiking in North America.
Try to spend two nights if possible.

Canyon to Norris - 12 mi
Moderate climb, small shoulders, then a killer downhill.
Norris Geyser Basin is worth a long stop and a good walk.
So much better than Old Faithful which is a zoo.
There's no water available here, so stock up beforehand.
(You can also ride over to the campground to top off.)

Norris to Madison - 13 miles
Recently rebuilt park road with small shoulders, mostly downhill.
Madison has a nice hiker/biker area - but no store or cafes nearby.
I think it is smart to camp here as camping further west is hard to find.
Set up early and ride without panniers up the Firehole River if you wish.
Again, evening riding is lovely.

Happy Trails! - Jama

Journal from back in 2005 - starting at Jenny Lake

Routes / Re: Eads CO to Sugar City
« on: June 17, 2024, 09:57:44 am »
Water drop?

Another thing I have used in Nevada, not Colorado -
Is to have someone drop off a gallon of water in a pre-arranged location.
I buy a gallon of water at the store then find someone going that way.
Once I had already talked with someone heading thru Warm Springs (deserted).
Once I stood at the junction with a sign "Can you drop off H2O for me?"
It took only 5 minutes for someone to stop.
Maybe they could do that and leave it at the Arlington rest area.
I also write my name on the jug with a marker and the word, "Cyclist".

Routes / Re: Eads CO to Sugar City
« on: June 16, 2024, 12:42:16 pm »
56 miles? 56 miles ain't nothing.
It's 168 miles between Tonopah and Ely in Nevada.

Haswell is not that far from Eads -
but you could ask for water at the post office or county road shop.
There are only a couple of houses left in Arlington,
but there is a nice shady pull-out.

You can always ask at a house for water -
especially if you see someone outside already.
Also, you can hold your water bottle out with you left hand
to beg from passing cars.
If they stop, they'll often throw in a granola bar.


A WYDOT press release on Tuesday afternoon stated the detour could be completed in two weeks.

“WYDOT continues to work closely with the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies to secure the area and investigate long-term reconstruction options. Currently, WYDOT geologists and engineers are confident they can build a safe, temporary detour around the slide area using local fill material and paving two temporary lanes,” the press release stated.

Westby praised the work of the geologists, engineers and construction crews as they work round-the-clock at both sites, as well as the cooperation of local, state and federal officials.


Please do not attempt to "go around" as some have suggested.
Construction is going on 24/7 and there is a $750 fine.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Teton Pass is Closed
« on: June 08, 2024, 08:43:22 pm »
I've biked Teton Pass a few times.
I biked the Old Pass Road and skied it in winter.
Plus, I've driven the pass bunches of times.

There is almost no space for equipment,
so it will have to be marshalled along the roadway itself.
WYDOT will not be allowing anybody in there.

Perhaps like the Blue Mesa Bridge in Colorado -
The Old Pass Road will be upgraded to a bare minimum standard
and cars and small trucks will be allowed thru at certain times with a pilot truck.
Then the question becomes - will they shuttle bikes in the pilot truck?

A huge number of employees (who make less than $100K)
commute from Idaho to Jackson over Teton Pass.
Hotels, restaurants, park service, the hospital.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Teton Pass is Closed
« on: June 08, 2024, 03:04:20 pm »
Then again - -
Why not just ride thru Yellowstone?
The secret is to ride super early from sunrise to 9 or 10 a.m.
Then quit for the day and enjoy the park.

Evening riding is also pretty good - with most cars and almost all busses off the road.
And since the campgrounds have hiker.biker sites, you are fine getting in late.
Not to mention that you see more wildlife in the early and late hours.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Teton Pass is Closed
« on: June 08, 2024, 03:00:09 pm »
There's always Old Teton Pass Road.  (Used to live in Jackson)
Since the landslide (MP 12.8) is on the west side, the western segment starts .2 miles west of Teton Pass.
It is a rough, steep, dirt road. Much easier pushing your bike up than trying to ride down.

BUT - - -
They might not want anyone up there besides the construction crew. Period.
So, the road may be closed to all use.
You can also take Old Teton Pass Road up the east side - much better road than west side.
Still, you have to get on Hwy 22 for that .2 miles at the pass.
And they may prevent cyclists from doing that.
Not to mention that the entire segment may be unstable.

Then there's the mudslide at MP 15.
My guess is that WYDOT will put clearing that up on the back burner.
Since the major issue is the road completely out above.
And the mudslide will also discourage folks from trying to get thru.
So, even if you do use Old Teton Pass Road - you still have the mudslide.

I used to beg money from gullible American tourists
when I was growing up in Puerto Rico.

That said, cyclists are not just affluent outsiders to South American villagers.
Many communities along the GDMBR are struggling, too.
Butte, Rawlins, Walden, Saguache, much of rural N.M.
In stark contrast to Whitefish, Jackson, Crested Butte, and Taos.
The natives are friendly, I hear, but skeptical.

When are you doing this?
How old, how experienced riding is your son?

Mitchell Point Tunnel was supposed to open this past April,
but like so much of ODOT stuff, they are late.
And they don't appear willing even to post a new target date.

If Prineville is not a destination Hwy 19 to Dayville is fantastic.
From Hood River to Dayville is sweet riding with almost no traffic -
including the best sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway Trail.

The stretch from Troutdale to Hood River is fair.
I would avoid weekends on the Multnomah Falls section.
East of the falls the trail is good all the way to Viento S.P.
Then you have to use the I-84 shoulder to Hood River.

If the Mitchell Point Tunnel is opened in time -
it may require an out-and-back because there are no links eastwards.

Have fun. - - J

Kebler Pass opened today - May 31st - at 4:00p.
It is a through gravel county highway,
but it is likely to have more traffic than it can handle.
Still, it is the best alternative until US 50 reopens.

Gunnison County Public Works says Kebler Pass will open Friday afternoon, May 31st.
It is a high-quality gravel road and pleasant with low traffic.
BUT - it will have fairly heavy traffic until Blue Mesa bridge on US 50 reopens in July.
I would advise camping halfway thru the gravel section so you can ride early and late.
Plus, it's beautiful up there - but still a bit snowy.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Where to ride
« on: May 28, 2024, 07:20:20 am »
Given three weeks -
ACA's Northern Tier is a good option.
Anacortes, Washington to Glacier National Park -
Ending with Going to the Sun Road.

You can roll your bike onto Amtrak's Empire Builder
for an overnight trip back to Seattle.
From East Glacier, but if you don't get that far
other options are West Glacier or Whitefish.

Traffic is moderate to light - compared to heavy on US 101.
There is always the risk of smoke and fires in late summer in the Pac NW.
Most importantly, there is a great deal of climbing - starting on day 3.
So, you don't get much easy riding to warm up with.

General Discussion / Re: Best weather app for GDMBR ?
« on: May 22, 2024, 07:51:02 am »
Tim -

You are aware that there are many long stretches of the GDMBR with no connectivity
and also long stretches without any place to recharge devices.
Satellite phones and solar chargers do get around this,
but part of the attraction of the GDMBR is the disconnection.


Bike Clubs / Re: Biking Yellowstone
« on: May 11, 2024, 10:08:43 am »
Welcome - you'll find a lot of helpful info here.
You may wish to do a site search on Yellowstone info since it has been discussed many times.

A few quickies -
a) Yellowstone has heavy tourist traffic and fairly narrow roads.
Some people are against riding there, but there are ways to do it and avoid most traffic.
Most families and tour busses don't get out until after 9am and are gone by by 5pm.
Getting up at dawn and riding is chilly, but amazingly worth it.
All but one campground have hiker/biker sites so you can ride late knowing that there's a spot.
b) Yellowstone's climate is the exact opposite of Phoenix's.
So when it's brutal in Phoenix, it's nice and pleasant in Yellowstone.
And when it starts to cool off in Phoenix - i.e. Sept. - the snow returns to Yellowstone.
September is gorgeous but very changeable. Also, facilities start closing.
c) Remember - NEVER eat in your tent.
Not in Phoenix, not in Iowa, and certainly not in Yellowstone.
You may not be able to smell the peanut butter from last month,
but the bears can.

Happy trails! - Jama

Routes / Re: Boulder,CO to Missoula,MT
« on: May 08, 2024, 02:36:53 am »
I also suggest the TransAm.
I would suggest riding up to Fort Collins, then West on Hwy 14 to Walden.
I think starting off with Trail Ridge Road thru Rocky Mountain N.P. would be a little much.
Plus, it may not be open by Memorial Day given recent snow and cold temps.

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