Day 22 (sorta): Moran, WY – Lava Mtn Lodge

Miles: 31

Climbing: 2808 ft

Aaaaand I’m back! After a positively wonderful vacation from my vacation, I got back on the bike for the first time in 6 days!

This morning, Arthur got up super early (a mean feat after an evening staying up late catching up with FL friends with karaoke, dancing, and ping-pong) to drive me back to the route.

My sleepy chauffeur 💘

In the interest of time, I had him drop me in Moran instead of all the way back up at Coulter Bay (saving me almost half a day’s riding ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). I had originally planned on having him drop me just on the side of the road, but instead he took me to a gas station a couple miles up the road. This was nice, since I had a bathroom and convenience store as I got my bike re-packed for the first time in a week. It also meant I had an excuse to skip the gravel road and take the highway west instead. No complaining here.

I said goodbye to Arthur for another few weeks (😢), and called my mom to check in. (In reality this call was 50% just to stall because I was NOT feeling like getting on the bike.)

Bye, beautiful Tetons!

The day’s ride, once I finally started it, took me along a highway with a super nice wide shoulder, and the Tetons in the background.

I was only slightly put off by the sign warning of bears on the road. 😬

After only 4 or 5 miles of flat, I began the long ascent up Togwotee Pass. This pass was by far my highest altitude yet, at 9675 feet. The climb was easier than usual due to fresh legs and the nice highway surface. In fact, when I went to get on the second gravel road of the day, I found this sign:

You don’t have to tell me twice. Back to the highway it is.

Wyoming kind of surprised me with some really beautiful and dramatic views, of interesting rock formations and mountaintops.

I reached my original planned stopping point (a campground) way earlier than expected and decided to carry on to Lava Mountain Lodge, which had a restaurant and camping a few miles further down the road.

When I arrived I was bummed to find that they had closed their tent camping sites and only had cabins available, which were pretty expensive. I got a pizza and used the WiFi for a while, trying to decide whether to carry on and wild camp somewhere, turn back (UP a couple miles of mountain) to the original campground I had planned, or just splurge on a cabin. I was leaning toward continuing on, because it was early and I was feeling good………but within 20 minutes of eating, a sleepiness hit me like a pile of bricks. The fact that I had only slept 5 hours the night before (and then climbed a big ol’ mountain) caught up with me big time.

In the end I paid for a cabin and immediately laid down and napped for several hours. Guess I needed the rest! I spent the rest of the evening enjoying the bed and WiFi…..I probably made the right decision, even though the money was a pain.

Scrolling through instagram in my cabin, I started feeling fomo for the group of people I had been riding with who all passed me up when I took my break–they were pretty much all together recently, getting ready to conquer the Great Basin. I didn’t see any other Divide riders today, so I’m feeling a bit lonely and wishing for some company. Hopefully I’ll meet up with another group soon.

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