The bouncy van ride was quite charming with lots of sagebrush on either side and the foothills of the Gros Ventre Mountains in the distance. In addition to other geological features of the area, our guide informed us that the Gros Ventures are actually older than the Teton mountain range!
First things first! Our Teton Mountain Bike Guide, Dan, advised us about the importance of staying out of mud puddles, otherwise your brakes and gears will stop functioning due to the bentonite clay mixed in with the dirt here. Dan also spoke on the importance of yielding to horses, the wildlife in the vicinity and how to stay safe – especially from bears!
Then it was go time! We set off down Cobblestone Hill – a really nice downhill filled with glacial cobble (a more scientific name for this type of “rocky terrain”). After that, we had some uphill to do. The climb took place on a dirt road; however, most of it was shaded by the thick pine forest. At times there was no way to avoid hitting puddles though. When a tire became caked in mud and spun around . . . the dirt flew everywhere, including at you!
The bugs were out in full force – landing wherever they could on our bodies, even though we thoroughly sprayed ourselves with insect spray. This was actually a good thing though, because it forced everyone to keep moving! Not a cloud in the sky was to be seen, and all you could hear were the mosquitoes buzzing and the gears on the bike systematically changing as the ride continued.
Finally it was time to hit some sweet single track! The group weaved through the dense woodland brush and mountain biked into beautiful wildflower meadows. Up and down we went – stopping here and there to take pictures, maybe avoid a few logs on the trail and listen to Dan share a tidbit of knowledge about the terrain ahead of us.
It was quite a time, mountain biking around single track trails and enjoying plenty of downhill paths, bringing us closer to our original starting place. However, before we realized, the splendid July weather had taken a turn. The sky overhead turned dark and we were suddenly caught in a storm! First the freezing rain started, and then it changed to small hail – but it ended as quickly as it appeared (thankfully!). We raced back to our van, treasuring the majestic view of the Tetons in front of us and ended the tour by toasting a job well done with some ice-cold lemonade!
To check out pictures from this trip, see our photos on the web!