Lael smiling on the morning of Day 6 at the Montana High Country Lodge in Polaris, MT. Thanks to Russ Kipp for the image, via the Tour Divide 2015 forum discussion at Bikepacking.net
Lael called from Lima, I missed the call, tried to call back, we got tangled in trying to call each other until she answered and said “I’ll call you back in a minute, I’m checking out at the store”. Then I knew she would continue. She called back and said, “I’m feeling pretty good, I think I’ll keep going”. And that was it.
I watched her tracker at work all day, but was worried when her pink balloon faded less than 20 miles outside Lima. Had she gone to sleep before sunset? The result of another asthmatic fit? She reappeared more than 30 miles later, finally ending her day 182.5 miles after it began. Riding into the night, she camped at the crest of Red Rock Pass, as I did several years ago, and awoke early to begin pedaling the 72 mile section across Idaho, including the famously sandy railroad corridor. By noon, Mountain Time, she’ll be ascending the Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road into Wyoming. She ate Idaho for breakfast.
Later this afternoon Lael will ride onto a paved road which connects Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, a pleasant pedal along the shores of Jackson Lake. We pedaled through this area together back in 2011. From Moran Junction, the route climbs to Togwotee Pass and Union Pass before descending into classically windswept Wyoming.