Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wyoming! WOW!

After a very early awakening, I was loaded and in the car with Bill at the wheel at 6 AM. We arrived at the airport by 6:30, kiss goodbye, super fast checkin due to checking bags and printing boarding passes on line yesterday... got through security and found that my plane was delayed... supposed to leave at 8:33, now expected to depart at 9:47. Uh-oh. Not good news for the connecting flight in Denver... I called Dianne and left a message telling her I was going to be late.

As we approached Denver I took photos of interesting green circles on the landscape--found out later they are caused from the type of irrigation equipment they use... We landed at Denver after an uneventful flight, and I RAN down the moving walkways because of course the gate I needed to be at was at the opposite end of a very large terminal (gate 44 when I landed at gate 89). I ran up to where I saw Dianne and yelled "I'm here!" and we hugged, and the attendant said "now boarding group one". No kidding! It was that close! So we were on our way to Jackson Hole Airport, the only major commercial airport within a National Park.

On the plane we quickly moved to an empty row and got out our Adventure Cycling maps and went over our route for the next week. Then we got out our Rail Trail books and West Virginia maps and planned our next trip. By then we were gawking out the window at the snow capped peaks of the Grand Tetons and we were here! I tried to take a photo of the majestic mountains at the airport but TSA people told me sternly that I had to keep moving...

We shared a van to the Elk Country Inn in Jackson and my bike had just arrived but our room was not ready. We got lunch, got our cabin, and then Steve was here and we walked around to various bike shops before walking to dinner at the Snake River Brewery where the local beer and food were super and a nice man named Barry took our photo--Thanks Barry if you are reading this--great photo!

We have most of our acclimation time (now until Sat. eve) planned with hiking, biking, white water rafting, a trip to Yellowstone Park, and a tram trip up the mountain.... see it all right here. Now I've about had it after the stress of the late flight, the time change, and the altitude change! Here is a photo of our cabin--very nice, but it is the most remote location at Elk Country Inn, and I found out after becoming quite frustrated that it is too far to get their wireless connection. Now I am in the lobby and it works fine... live and learn. The up side of the cabin: feather pillows! Yes!

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