Left Jackson on the 5th after breakfast with Jim and Sarah, and headed 80 miles southeast to Dubois and Teton Valley Ranch Camp. It was a beautiful drive past Grand Teton Nation Park. No matter how many times I see the view, I'm still mesmerized by the sight of the mountains.
It was great to be back at the ranch and see old friends. It's an amazing place, mostly because of the people who work there and give everything they have to make kids have the most amazing summer of their lives. They are selfless people and it's invigorating to be around them. It's great to see staff members who were "young and goofy" when I started there 5 years ago, now maturing and becoming driving forces behind the success of TVRC. Especially Bubba (who is now Program Coordinator) and Connor, who is now a trip leader. Carly Platt, who is the Assistant Director, is the glue that keeps TVRC together. She is so calm and has such a magnetic personality. We had fun shooting a few pictures and working on some HDR techniques, and getting a few pictures of her "wolf-dog", Sherman.
I got to spend time with my good friends Tom and Catherine Holland and their two lovely daughters. Tom does an unbelievable job as the director of TVRC, and Catho is energy personified. She not only raises two kids, but works at the ranch, AND in Jackson. 'Don't know how she does it.
Jim came out and did a roping exhibition for some of the older kids. They got to run the shoot and release the cattle, and had a great time. Smiles all around.
Friday morning, Tom, Catho, and I got to do a "Breakfast Ride" for the Trailblazers (the oldest group). We get up at 5:00, and head out to a remote site where we cook up an amazing breakfast. The boys ride out on horseback and arrive about 8:30am and we proceed to eat, laugh, and share stories. These are always highlights of my visit, because I get to spend time with Tom and Catho. There is some serious conversation, but MUCH laughter.
After getting fattened up with 3 square meals of amazing food for 4 days, it was time to get back on the bike and head home. I made it as far as North Platte, Nebraska on Friday, and rolled into my driveway at 8:00pm Saturday night. It felt good to be home and sleep in my own bed. 5600 miles in 20 days. My butt is so sore.