Woke up in the morning to KC snoring like a bear. Thankfully I had pitched my tent over 15 ft away so that helped. Its been colder here than its has been before. Simple tasks of packing up the tent and sleeping bag took time. My fingers don’t want to move and seem stuck together. Quickly packed up and went to the store that we had passed by last night. This would be our only stop before Colter bay. At the store i got Don to hotspot me so that i could call home and check on what was happening. They seem to be doing ok. My family has been looking at track leader and have been monitoring my progress. The spot is like a damm dog leash maybe I should get 3 of these for the idiots at home. After a coupe of calls and some breakfast we got on the road.
We would slowly ride into the Grand Teton National park. LE had told me that Teton stands for TITS. The guy has some fun facts that he shares every now and then. Slowly climbed into the National park. Its beautiful. Finally we reached the view point from which we could see the Grand Teton mountains. The same spot that Curtis had told me about and shown me a pic off. At the Grand Tetons we met an Indian couple. Interestingly the girl is from Bangalore and runs a solar company which hires women in rural communities to make lights. She is in the US raising money and finding different means to monetize the business so that they would not have to perpetually raise money. She was telling me about the unit they have setup in Trichy to see if they can setup different revenue streams. They are now also building these computer education schools for kids which are run by the self help groups who charge a small fee for the class. They are still exploring different models. After we took a few pics we headed out towards Colter Bay. Scenery on the way
At the top of the pass met a couple of tourers who were also riding towards Colter bay. They were just exploring a small portion of the route since they had never seen it. One of them helped consult the Indian government setup the Micro finance banks, he knew Yonus from Grameen bank. Super interesting conversation on how the bank operate. Turns out each of the micro finance companies have some dirty secrets, some more and some less.
At the Grand Teton
Finally reached Colter bay and sat outside the grocery store eating lunch. A cup of coffee was 2$. Apparently since we are inside the park it is still expensive. 60 miles before it gets a little cheaper. LE met up with us at the grocery store. He had slept at the ranger station the previous night as he wasn’t able to find a place to sleep. After a nice long lunch we headed out. The plan was to climb over Togwotee pass hopefully with light to spare and safely descend to the town of Dubious. Don and LE headed out first and i followed a few minutes later. The only supply point before the pass was a gas station at the bottom of the mountain. Stopped at the gas station and had coffee. It was slowly getting darker. I wanted to get on top of the pass so that I could get a lovely pic on the summit. Bowlek had posted a kickass picture which i also wanted.
The English lunch
Started the long climb up and at almost the halfway point a car came racing down with blinking lights. He was trying to warn me about the bear in the middle of the road. By the time I got to the place where the bear was it had left, thankfully. Bears seem to be everywhere. I was told to carry a bear spray but figured pepper spray would work. As i continued to climb kept an eye out on the sides of the road for bears. Finally at about 9 in the evening got to the summit of the pass. It was getting super cold. Started to ride down but since it was dark got harder and harder to be see. By the time i rode about 5 miles I got super tired trying to slow down and ride safe. I figured that Don and LE would have camped at the first campground they would have found. A few miles later i found a campground which was next to a lake. Sneaked in and found an empty camping spot. It was super cold and dark. Put up my tent and unpacked. No strength to make a sandwich. Just wanted to go to bed. From the previous night the tent and sleeping bag were damp. This would suck on this cold night. Managed to get into bed and go to sleep. Hopefully the Chinese sleeping bag will keep me warm. The big win for the day is climbing the pass even though i couldn’t get a pic of it. The campground had no lights so the stars were nice and bright. No traffic noise just absolute silence except when a cricket would make some noise. Tomorrow onward to Lander.
Somewhere on the pass
Lesson for the day : Grisly bears are bigger than the black bears. Grisly bears may eat you.
Campground 10 miles from the pass
Up Next: Day 21, Togwotee pass to Sweet Water Station