Day 50 & 51: Grand Teton National Park, WY to Yellowstone National Park, WY

Our rest day in the Tetons was amazing! We got to sleep in and relax in the morning and then go to Colter Bay for a few hours of hiking and exploring the Tetons. It was nice to have a break after our longest period of not having a rest day so far on this trip (11 whole days!). In the evening we cooked over a fire and had baked potatoes, beans, hot dogs, and s’mores. We got to see a fox run through our tent and some other wildlife around. Still no bears at our campsite though, no worries :)

The next morning we woke up at 4:45 and packed up the tents we had been living in for the past couple of days. We dedicated our ride this day to Nirmala Ram, Viraat’s great aunt who passed from breast cancer a few years ago. She was deeply loved by her entire family, and she also enjoyed visiting Yellowstone, which was our destination for the day’s ride.

Yellowstone was incredibly unique and we are so fortunate to have been able to ride through it. We got to have lunch at Old Faithful and see it erupt two times! Then, we got to see the Grand Prismatic Spring which everyone agrees was the highlight of the day. I am not a biology major but the way I understand the colorful hot springs at Yellowstone is that there are certain microscopic organisms that can survive at the extreme temperatures that exist in the springs. Those organisms in the Prismatic springs happen to be super colorful and amazing to observe! We had a great time pulling over every few miles to really get to experience the park.

We camped out again at Yellowstone after quite a long day. It rained on us overnight, but that little bit of bad luck was counteracted big time by the 2014 Illini 4000 team who sent us a care package filled with AMAZING SNACKS that we haven’t had in so long. A huge thank you to Ellen who brought us popsicles along our ride and delivered the snacks to us in person. We seem to always see a refreshing face and get good food when we really need it the most.

NATHAN GETS SHOUTOUT OF THE YEAR for having the forethought to buy waterproofing stuff for our tents. We sprayed our tents the first night camping at the Grand Tetons and needed it desperately for the next couple of nights. Our team operates on a very small budget so our tents aren’t the top-of-the-line type, but having them be more waterproof saved us and our stuff from getting soaking wet when it definitely would have without his forward thinking.

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