Once we got up near Togwotee Pass, we discovered the infamous construction zone that everyone in the area seems to bemoan and avoid. We were not allowed to ride through a ten-miles stretch of the area, so we had to ride in the Pilot Car that escorted vehicles through the area (see video at bottom of post). We also were not able to ride the dirt road up to Brooks Lake, which was unfortunate and meant that we had to ride more miles on pavement; the road was blocked off due to TNT near the junction. I guess you could say that we had an easy climb up and over Togwotee Pass, our 8th continental divide crossing of the journey. One disclaimer I should mention before the critics begin a rant: Matt and I have each ridden this pass in 2006 when we both took cross-country cycling trips (him on a bike and I on a unicycle).
[back in the saddle, we descend with the view of a glimmering sunset on the Pinnacle Buttes]
... and ... happy birthday to me! I just turned 26 yesterday and it proved to be an excellent day, indeed. Just after I awoke, I heard footsteps coming over to my tent and began to see a yellow glow on the other side of the tent wall. "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..." Matt began to sing. He brought a blueberry muffin with candles that spelled out "26" and a card addressed "To Grace, Destroyer of Miles." To top it off, he included a cinnamon roll in the birthday breakfast. Talk about being spoiled! It helped broaden my smile that had become more a look of surprise when I discovered ice lining the inside of my tent and part of my sleeping bag. Yep, the cold has come!!
On our continued descent from Mosquito Lake (aptly named) to the Green River, we each made a "Three Ocean Cocktail," which consisted of water from three streams that are the headwaters leading to the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of California. Just add Tang, and it was a treat.
We continued rocking our descent into Pinedale, stopping for a wonderful cafe breakfast at "The Place" along the way. Just outside of town, a lady named Kathy Raper stopped us who had seen us earlier that morning on the road. We got to talking and found out that her daughter is a Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor, and she helps with an organization called "Kicking Cancer," which aids families with costs of cancer treatment that health insurance doesn't cover. Just when we were intolerably parched, she offered us water and (gasp) ice, and made plans to take us to dinner. Not only did she treat us to an amazing Mexican food dinner, but she brought us angel food cake, berries, and whipped cream to enjoy as a dessert on my birthday. Dang!! Her generosity extended much further than just the tangible gifts, and we are so thankful for her encouragement, enthusiasm, and all the work she is doing in the community to help others battling cancer. Thanks again, Kathy!!
Well, that's life from the road. We are preparing to take on the worst (best?) of the Great Basin and are trying to get creative in ways to carry more water on our unicycles, not on our backs.
Rock n roll!
Team Blazing Saddle Sores