Woke up to a super cold morning at the American Legion campground. Don was already up and packing up his bags. Sadly no coffee at the campground but the town was supposed to have a restaurant. Just as i was about to ride LE pinged saying he was in the restaurant in town. Went to go see him. Sat down to get a coffee at the Restaurant and it started to rain. Chatted with LE and another tourer for a bit. As the rained slowed down we decided to hit the road. No point waiting around. At the restaurant Don found a host on warm showers at Dillon. He sent him a text and immediately got a response saying we could stay with them but wanted us to call them for directions. Tried to explain that we dint have phone reception. Chad who i met at Steve’s house at Astoria pinged asking me to call Larry. Called him on fb messenger. He would pick us up when we got to town and take us to their house. Turns out what they meant was call when we reach town. We would get cell phone signal when we reached the junction of the interstate into town. With that sorted we were committed to reach Dillon.
The town of Wisdom
Our first stop of the day was Jackson. Started to ride and 20 miles later reached Jackson. Jackson is a town of 18 people. They have a post office, hotel and a restaurant. Stopped at the restaurant to get a bite to eat. Spoke to the owner of the restaurant who told me about how they were profitable only in the summer and in the winter they would barely break even. LE met some motorcyclists from Montreal. These guys love talking in French. Cathy should have been around to contribute to the conversation. Don’t think they would be impressed with my counting skills that i learnt from Cathy when we were in Russia. Micheal had already reached Wisdom. Pinged him about our plan to go to Dillon. Don and LE headed out. Just before LE left he gave me his charger with me promising to return when i got to Dillon.I had left mine at Curtis’s place at Darby.
The town of Jackson
Headed out and slowly started to climb. The climb to the top was slow. It started to rain quite heavily. Slowly slowly got over the climb. The fog rolled in. Towards the summit of the first pass i met a tourer from Sweden. He was complaining about he cold. Even the Swedish think its cold. Told him about my experiences and offered him a place to sleep if he came to India. After a quick picture of the two of us and started riding. Now the downhill part. It was cold, super cold. Finally hit the flats for a bit. It started to rain harder. As i started to climb the next hill Micheal showed up. He had managed to catch up. Damm he’s fast. It was nice to see him, a friendly face in the bitter cold helps. He was soaked. He was telling me that he was super close to call it a day and just go home. To me i was super happy to see him. This mountain has a few false summits. As we hit the top of the mountain it started to pour. Finally we started to roll down the mountain. As we descended quickly it got colder. The reason i listen to music while i ride is it helps distracting me. Thankfully the stupid dance track which was on the music player did that. On a regular day i would have skipped those tracks, today it was a welcome distraction.
Me and Roger from Sweden on the Summit of the first pass
Finally rolled into Dillon and checked my phone. Chad had pinged asking me where I was. My tracker had stopped a while ago. Maybe it stopped since i hadn’t restarted it after my stop at Jackson. Gave him my location and he told me that our host Larry would pick me up. Kept riding towards McDonalds since it was raining. Staying put wasn’t going to keep me warm also i wanted a cup of coffee. Larry had picked up Don when he got to the interstate. On my way through town I looked for Micheal, he had disappeared. Stopped at McDonald’s and got coffee. Called Larry to tell him I was here. Larry was super nice to pick me up at McDonald’s. As we drove back towards the way i came i kept a watch to see if we could spot Micheal. Larry had room and would host him too. With no sign of Micheal we headed towards Larry’s house. I should have stopped at the interstate junction as it was close by Larry’s place. By riding all the way into town he had to drive further to meet me. Larry and his wife were retired and they spent time volunteering. They were responsible for the American Legion campground that we stayed at last night. They wanted cyclists to have a place to stay at Wisdom.
Micheal catching up while climbing the 2nd pass
At Larry’s place i quickly changed out of my wet wet clothes. Edwin and Don were already there. Met Chad, its always nice to meet racers again. Chad gave me the low down on what happened. He was riding towards Lola pass and got hit by tons of rain. He built a fire and tried to warm up but that dint work too well. On the top of the pass he ducked into the visitors centre to catch a quick nap after which he rode through the rain to Wisdom. He was cold and thought he would catch hypothermia. At Dillion he took some time to sit and have a cup of coffee and decide if he wanted to continue. I think the gear he had dint allow him to go ahead. Finally he decided to scratch. He dint just want to ride the route since he could do that anytime. He wanted to compete. Its hard to push forward in these conditions. He was telling me that its been pouring from the time he got to Dillon 4 days ago. He had a ticket booked to go home the next day and I happened to get here just in time to see him. Gave me some valuable advise on the road ahead. Jo was from Seattle and was riding to Newyork to find a job and then go to college discovered that he could avoid going to Yellowstone and stay in better weather. I also discovered that there was a straight route through America, that i dint know.
For R to L : Chad, Edwin, Larry (our host) and Jo
After Dinner which Larry’s wife had made, a quick shower and a call home and i was set for the night. Just then LE messaged reminding me to drop off the charger in the morning. He had to get to the post office by 9 and wanted me to get it to him at 8. Larry figured out it was going to stop raining for about 2 hours tomorrow. We have a window to get out of Dillon and maybe it will not rain on us tomorrow.
Lesson for the day: When the Swedish says its cold , take his word on it.
Up Next: Day 17, Dillon to Ennis