Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Timing is Impeccable

Day 24 - 6/27/17 - Colter Bay Village, WY to Dubois, WY - 66 Miles

Average Speed = total miles / total time = 66 / uhhh

Lodging - St. Thomas Episcopal Church - free

I didn't take the camera out of the bag much today.  Not because there was nothing photo worthy,  but because I was facing a 20 mile climb up Togwotee Pass, which sits at 9658 feet elevation.  Thats the 2nd highest summit of the TransAmerica Trail.

As I was approaching the top, I kept noticing in my helmet mirror that the sky behind me was an ominous black/blue AND it was moving in my direction.  At first I harbored the hope that I could outrun it...that hope was cruelly crushed when I was about 1/2 mile from the top...when the wind picked up so drastically that it was literally pushing me up the mountain without me pedaling.  Normally, I would consider this a good thing, but I had a bad feeling about this.  The moment I got to the top, it started raining and sleeting.  I stopped, snuck a quick pic of the pass...
...then I started downhill.  I love downhills, but this one I grew to hate very quickly.  Let's start with bone chilling cold...then let's move to lightning and thunder...let's not leave out the gail force winds...oh yea...I forgot to mention marble sized hail that pelted my back, my head, my hand, my arms AND my face.

I tried to find a balance between a slow enough speed to lessen the pain of the hail and fast enough to get me out of this maelstrom.  There was no place to stop.  There was no shelter.  I had one choice, get down that mountain as fast as I could AND pray.

Finally after 11 Miles, I came across Lava Mountain Lodge and pulled onto the front porch.  I couldn't feel my hands.  I was soaked.  I was shivering  uncontrollably.  I walked into the store not sure about the reception I would receive.  I really kind lady behind the counter offered me a cup of hot coffee amd showed where the restrooms were so I could change into some dry clothes and put on more layers.

After an hour, the storm subsided and I continued on my way.  Grateful to be warm and dry again AND thanking God for keeping me safe and for the kindness of a stranger.

I did take one final pic of the Grand Tetons this morning as I bid them farewell.
Tonight I sleep indoors due to Bicycle/Hiker Ministry of St Thomas' Episcopal Church.

What a blessing!

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