Miles Today: 79
Miles to Date: 5,072
States to Date: 20
Everything about today was super-scaled, which left me feeling a bit small and overwhelmed. It started at WinCo, a new grocery chain to me where I stopped to pick up breakfast. It’s Costco meets Safeway: I watched people load cartons of milk and pop and dozens of bags of groceries into the back of their pickups at 7 a.m. while I ate my yogurt and drank a Powerade.
I had a nice 35-mile ride through farmlands and towns. Eastern Idaho is much more populated than I expected, cultivation like Minnesota at the immense scale of the Dakota’s. In Rexford, a squeaky-clean Mormon town, I stopped at Walgreen’s. When I gave the fresh-scrubbed counter boy my card and asked him about tomorrow, he said, “We’ve been following you!” Turns out he’s an exercise physiology student at BYU-Idaho and his professor used my blog s a case study. How cool is that!
Today may be the only day of my trip that took me in all four directions as I skirted west and north before Highway 33 turns east and finally south into the Teton Valley. Potato fields undulated deep green, wheat shimmered in the breeze, the distant hills were spotted with fir trees, and in the far distance the Grand Tetons, seventy miles away, dominated the horizon. Despite the overcast skies they were a mighty force.
I detoured to visit the site of the Teton Dam disaster; a tremendous pile of dirt still stands almost forty years after the 280 foot deep dam broke in 1976 and devastated the nearby towns. The Teton River snakes along a narrow path at the bottom. It looks so benign yet countered man’s attempts to tame it.
By the time I reached Tetonia the sky turned from grey to dark. Three miles outside of Driggs the rain began to fall. Within a mile I was drenched. There was no place for cover, so I just kept coming on until I reached The Pines, a really pleasant guest house in town. I was a dirty, wet, tired creature. After getting clean and dry I walked to the fancy supermarket across the street and got delicious ribs, salad, and watermelon for dinner, with cookies for dessert. I climbed into bed by nine.