April 20, 2019- Fireside RV Park, Moran, WY
We wake this morning, not sure what to do. Ron wants to ride but we also wanted to see what’s in town. So we drive the short trip into town. Ron states he should have bicycled but we decide to head just outside of town so he can hop on a bicycle trail. Jackson, Wyoming is filled with bicycle trails and since they are having warmer weather, everybody is out biking! If you want to see beautiful scenery while you bike, head there, the bike trails even go up to through the Grand Teton National Park. Once we find a pull off spot to get the bike gear out, Ron jokingly tells Phoenix he is going along. Meghan suggested that since they were going on a bike path, he should take Phoenix to see how he does. So they loaded Phoenix into the bike cart and off he and Ron went. Ron was only able to ride on the bike path a short distance before it was shut down for the season due to the snow (we didn’t see any there but, Ok). Phoenix is riding well and there is plenty of shoulder on highway 191/26/89 so off they go. The entire ride is an incline, there is not opportunity for Ron to coast. He has to work for every forward movement. He ends up hopping on the bike trail again but is soon met with a snow bank. He has to unhitch the bike, carry to the shoulder, and then go get Phoenix and the cart. While he is maneuvering all the bike parts back to the road, Ron looks up just in time to see a young moose lying in the brush not far away. He attempts to take a picture but it doesn’t come out well. He calls Meghan to see how far away she is but she is a couple miles up. They decide she should stay where she is. They take a few breaks along the way and eventually end up at the Moran Junction. If they go left they head to Jackson Lake/Yellowstone and if they keep going straight, they go to Moran. Meghan looks up some camp spots and finds a place that is open, it’s only 5 miles away. She takes off to go make arrangements at the campground. Once she gets there, they tell her they aren’t open yet but they would ask, and just like that, they were! But they were a little pricey for Team Ronyx. Meghan bit the bullet and booked the camp spot anyway. She called Ron to tell him where to go. Once he got there, they set up camp. They had no electric! Meghan walked over to the store and they told her they would send someone over. Here their whole campground is 50 amp. Meghan thought she had thought of everything when she thought to buy a 30 amp adapter plug since they are only using a 20 amp (110V) plug for their tiny home. A gentleman came over and put a 50 amp converter down to their 30 amp converter to the 20 amp that we actually needed. (Confused yet?) Well they got it all figured out. Ron and Meghan discuss what they are going to do the next day as it is Easter. Meghan wants to see if they can get into Yellowstone even though they are pretty sure the South entrance is still closed.
April 21, 2019- Bridger-Teton Nat’l Forest Camping Entrance, Moran, WY
Happy Easter! Team Ronyx is going to attempt to get in to Yellowstone or close to it. They drive into the Jackson Lake area and stop at the first part of the lake they see. It’s still partly frozen. There are pelicans on the water, 2 photographers taking pictures, the mountains and surrounding ground are still covered in several feet of snow. There is a person canoeing in the lake. It’s peaceful and calm. A bald Eagle flies above the lake. Meghan isn’t quick enough to get a shot of it before it perches back in a tree. These are the moments where she wishes she had a better camera but her cell phone camera has been doing the job (although it’s starting to freeze often, so she has to make sure she removes batches of photos to save space on it.) They drive further into the park. The snow and trees are beautiful but access is very limited. They get to a cute little store where Ron purchases some food for lunch and Meghan picks up a few gifts. They decide to head back towards Moran to find a place to hike with the dogs as there isn’t anywhere in the park they can take the dogs due to the snow. They drive back out to Moran and find the Bridger-Teton Campground Entrance. The campground is closed, the sites full of snow but there is a large parking area and a road that is covered in snow but walkable. They park and decide to take the snow covered road on foot. But not without protection since they are bear country and several have been spotted recently. As their walk was just beginning a woman was coming down the road they were about to take. She told them she was pretty sure it was ok to camp there overnight and suggested another place four miles up the road. Team Ronyx decided they would take their chances and stay there. They hike about 2 miles up into the woods before they decide they have probably gone far enough. Once they are back to camp, they start up the woodstove as the temps are dropping and a nice warm fire would heat up their tiny home quickly. Ron gathers a few loose pieces of wood and Meghan decides to explore the snow covered campground. She finds a pit toilet back a couple hundred feet from where they are parked. She decided to trek through the snow (knee deep at some points and nothing in others) to see if the building is unlocked. Success! She uses the bathroom but quickly finds out there is no toilet paper since the building isn’t being maintained, but she has a napkin in her pocket, all is well! That night the woodstove just about cooked them out of the camper. Meghan had the window open and a fan pulling cold night air in but she was still hot. Around 10 pm, Ron started the generator so that they could charge their devices and put the heater on for when the fire went out. Their tiny home stayed cozy warm all night.
April 22, 2019- Dubois Self Service Campground, Dubois, Wyoming
5:30 am and Team Ronyx is up. Once it is daylight, Ron checks for wildlife before he lets the dogs out to do their business. A woman pulls into the parking area with her 2 dogs with bells on their vest. Team Ronyx discussed whether or not that would actually deter a bear. They load up and Ron heads out with Fonyx at 7:30 am to pedal towards Dubois, Wy. Little did they know, they had a lot of hills to climb that day. Shortly after Ron left, the woman with the 2 dogs approached Meghan in the truck. She informed her that she saw a bear up on the path and to warn the other campers. She showed Meghan a bear print in the snow and told Meghan to have her bear spray ready. Problem is, they don’t have bear spray! Meghan text Ron about the warning the woman had given her. He called and said he ran into a Ranger who said the same thing and that Meghan should stop at the Ranger Station to pick up bear spray. Meghan arrived at the Black Rock Ranger Station and asked the Ranger about bear spray, he told her the price of $50 and she was surprised at the cost. She text Ron to see if he wanted her to spend that much money on bear spray. They decided not to purchase the bear spray and thanked the Ranger for his time. He was very helpful and warned Meghan to stay close to Ron until they got over the Toghatee Pass and she did just that. When they reached the top of the summit, they were at the continental divide and at an elevation of 9,600 feet. Meghan is a little nervous about the next few miles but they continue on. While Meghan waits for Ron at the top of the mountain, she checks her emails and gets their updated fundraising total. This is the perfect time to release our total raised so far. When Ron arrives she tells them how much they have raised and he decides he will do another hand stand in front of the Continental Divide/ Elevation sign. Once he gets something to eat and a few minute break, he is ready to ride again. About 2 more miles up the road they were at an elevation over 9700 feet. Today’s ride is 18 miles of mountain hills. There are still snow banks over 5 feet tall. It is flurrying on the mountain and the snow is drifting. After they reached the 9700 foot elevation, the road finally went down. It was a 3-6% grade going do the other side of the mountain. Ron was able to coast down for several miles; but he has to maintain a steady pace so that the trailer doesn’t push him down the hill too fast. When he get’s down the hill he still has about 20 more miles of inclines and declines to pedal before they enter Dubois, WY. When they were about 33 miles into their trip, they stopped at a historical marker and Ron say a coyote on the opposite side of the embankment near the stream they were following. When they arrived in Dubois they were surprised how small it was. There was a gas station, ATV store, Mexican restaurant and a motel. They decided to go get some food at the gas station since they advertised sandwiches and pizza. Once they say down with their pizzas, Meghan looked at the GPS once more and realized they weren’t actually in the town the whole way. They loaded up the truck and went another half a mile into town to find some groceries and a camp spot for the night. Right inside town before you get to the shops, they spotted a little campground. They went there and called the number listed on the sign. A really nice gentleman answered the phone and told them to park in one of the spots and he would come and meet them there in a little while. When he came, he gave Team Ronyx a quick overview of the campground and told them the boundaries of the camp area and told them they were free to wander wherever so the dogs could play. The first thing Onyx and Phoenix did was wade out into the water. Phoenix even graduated to actually swimming to fetch his sticks. Up until now, he has been very hesitant to get them unless he could reach. After the dogs were done swimming, they explored the campground. We saw a cabin that looked as though it has just been built. This piqued Ron’s interest and he asked the owner if we could take a look in it and he told us to go ahead. It was really cute with a small living room, kitchen, dining room combined, a loft above the front porch, a bedroom in the back with a two small loft areas, one of which held the hot water heater and a small bathroom. Ron thinks this would be his perfect cabin some day! That evening, Meghan worked on their blog, she keeps getting behind on them so quickly and they discuss their plans for how to get through the next 70 miles as people have warned them that it is pretty desolate until the town of Riverton, WY.
April 23, 2019- Trail Lake Camping Area,Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat, Dubois, WY
A quick shower for Meghan to wake up for the day. Ron packs up the truck and gets his bike gear ready. Today he is taking Onyx and plans to ride as far as he can and if he runs out of time they will drive the remainder of the way to Riverton and use banked miles or ride around the town there. Meghan is going to top off the gas tanks, drop off mail and pick up a few things in town before they head out to “no-man’s land”. While she is in town, Ron sends her a text telling her that the other end of town is really cool and he thinks he should just bank some miles today and then they could explore the area a little more. Meghan agrees to the plan. She is on the hunt for a short piece of garden hose for them to fill their water jugs more easily. She stops at the hardware store, people are curious and ask her what she is doing with her truck. She hands out cards and tells everybody what Ron is doing. Her and the cashier at the hardware store chat for a while about Oregon (she lived in Bend and has family in Bend) and the route that Team Ronyx is taking. She made suggestions for them as far as places to camp and not in the next few towns. After Meghan left there, she went over to the thrift store in town in search of a particular book series she is looking for and potentially this short hose that she is looking for. When she pulls in a woman approaches her and tells Meghan that she just has to know what is going on? She had seen the truck at the other end of town and now she had the chance to ask about it. Meghan explains what Team Ronyx is set out to do and this woman is so moved that she tells Meghan that her husband is Skip Ewing (Country Songwriter/Singer) and that he could probably share their story on his Facebook to help spread the word about Onyx’s Great Adventure. She asked Meghan if they were leaving town today and Meghan told her that they had planned on it but are now going to stay another night. Linda tells her that if they don’t need hook-ups there is free camping just outside of town in the Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat area. She explains where to go and tells Meghan that when they get there to give them a call if they have cell service. They exchange phone numbers and Meghan waits for Ron to arrive back in town. When she tells Ron about her meeting with Linda, he said, “Oh yeah, she pulled over and talked to me on the road, I know where we need to turn to go”. They packed up the bike and trailer gear, leashed up the dogs and walked around town. First stop, lunch; Ron works up quite the appetite with all that pedaling he does and when he has to fight wind, it’s even worse. They run into Sara who works at the Dubois Chamber of Commerce. She takes some pictures and tells Team Ronyx that she will share it on their Facebook page and gives them suggestions on the best places to get a bite to eat in town. After lunch they walk all around the neighborhood, stop in shops and get some ice cream at the Whole Foods store in town. Then they decide to head out to where they will camp for the night. On their way out of town, Meghan gave Linda a quick call to let her know they were on their way out to the camp spot. Once they found the road and turned down it, they saw horses everywhere. They were all free range and just grazing on the sparse grass among the brush. Linda had explained that the drive back to where they would camp would be pretty long and there were several places to stop but Meghan had so much information floating in her brain that she couldn’t remember the name of the place they were supposed to park, except that Linda had said they would pass three lakes and there was a white van parked where they should be going. They drove 6 miles and saw a white camper in a camping area. They thought they had found the spot because they passed three bodies of water. They walked around and Meghan started to think they may not have gone as far as they should have. She went to the map and was even more sure they weren’t in the right spot. She went back to see if she could call Linda for more information. She had minimal service but was able to make the call and sure enough they hadn’t gone far enough and Linda invited them over for dinner. When they actually found their spot they met a really nice gentleman named Hunter who was camping in his van with his dog and doing some fly fishing. He and Ron chatted for a long time about fishing and just about anything pertaining to the outdoors. Meghan played with the dogs and worked on writing in their blog. Skip pulled in and introduced himself and told Team Ronyx that they would be back in a while to pick them up for dinner. When it was time to leave, they grabbed the dogs, locked up the camper and went with Linda around the lake to their place. They got to see their horses, meet the owner of the land Jerry, who happened to live in Williamsport, PA up until a few years ago. He and Ron talked for a while about the trip and the Williamsport/Dushore area of PA. This is the third person we met in Dubois that moved here from PA. After the horses were tended to, everybody went inside to chat and wait for dinner to finish in the oven. Skip shared stories of when he bicycled across the Country and the tricks and challenges they had along the way. Then he wanted to know all about Onyx’s Great Adventure and how it came to be. They decided they would shoot a short video in the morning before Skip and Linda left town. They ate a delicious dinner of marinated pork, roasted potatoes and salad topped with apples and feta cheese. Followed with a strawberry parfaits. Team Ronyx hadn’t had food quite that good in a while. After dinner, dessert and more chatting, Linda drove Team Ronyx back to their camp, but not before Skip set them up with some firewood. After learning about the petroglyphs in the area and the potential of seeing a waterfall at the end of the road they were staying on, Team Ronyx decided they would stretch their stay one more day to explore the beautiful ravine they were staying in.