Friday, June 28, 2013

Hatchet Campground, Moran Junction, WY

Day 41: Friday, June 28, 2013
Grant Village to Hatchet Campground (8 miles past Moran Junction): 61 miles

Before I get going on today's adventure, I gotta tell you about what was probably the coolest part of the day yesterday, that I completely forgot about (because I'm actually writing this five days later).

We six cyclists were assigned a campsite in the group camping area. There were several other groups there: I noticed Boy Scouts, a church group, and a Backroads group.

If you've been to Bike Expo or you read any cycling publications, you're probably familiar with Backroads Bicycle Touring. They offer deluxe tours, ranging from a weekend to several weeks. Eighty percent of their business is bicycle touring, but they also offer multi-modal tours like biking/kayaking/horseback riding. One of those tours happened to be at the campground. The staff were cleaning up after having served supper to their clientele, and there was a lot of food left over. So they were going around, offering it to other bicyclists. We were fortunate that "other bicyclists" was mainly us. We glommed onto that right away! The menu was build-it-yourself tacos or something with marinated chicken, steak, and veggies, with cheese, beans, and rice. But there weren't any taco shells or tortillas left over. So we just dumped everything into a couple of pots, fired up our campstoves, and had a delicious supper, courtesy of the Backroads people. Many thanks, especially, to Brant Haflich, our primary Backroads contact and benefactor.

Brant told us to come back at 9:15 in the morning for more leftovers. We gave some thought to changing our itinerary, and just following them around to collect free meals. But we didn't want to wear out our welcome. We did go back over there this morning. Today's offerings were the leftovers from the sandwich-building party the clients had before setting out on their adventure: shaved beef and turkey, veggies, cookies. Not exactly breakfast food, but we made out like bandits again!

Jordan, Israel, and Natalee decided to explore Yellowstone a little more; Matt, Sarah, and I decided to move on. Shortly after hitting the road, we crossed the Continental Divide for the fourth time (we had done #2 and #3 on the way into camp last night). Today's route took us south along the Lewis River canyon, out of Yellowstone Park, and along Jackson Lake, across which we could see the Grand Tetons in all their magnificence.

Lewis River Canyon.
The Old Coot isn't impressed by the Lewis River Canyon.

The Grand Tetons
The Grand Tetons are probably the most magnificent mountains in the country.

Matt, Sarah, and I stopped at Colter Bay Village for lunch and to stock up on supplies. But I missed them entirely, and didn't see them until we met at tonight's camping spot.

It was good to be out of the park: although the traffic was slow, it was dense, and shoulders there were narrow or non-existent.

Name these flowers!
Name these flowers!

At Moran Junction, the route turns east, heading for another pass. There was not a cloud in the sky - except for two dramatically towering cumulus systems. Hatchet campground, eight miles from the junction, was overrun with mosquitoes, had running water and pit toilets. I don't think it was worth the $10 fee, even if the three of us did split it.

towering cumulus 1
These two towering cumulus were the only clouds in the sky.

towering cumulus 2
The warm moist air cooled as it rose
until it no longer had the energy to rise further.

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