The Ashton to Tetonia Trail – Idaho – DAY ONE

July 23, 2020
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DAY ONE – We had been eye-balling this trail ever since we started searching for places to ride and after we finished up the Weiser River Trail. And, after discovering that there is ANOTHER trail very close to the Aston-Tetonia Trail called the Right of Way Trail, we decided to go for a twofer! The only problem was…our Jamis Renegade had a broken derailleur hanger. Do you know how fast a bike can be ridden with a broken derailleur hanger?

You’ll Be Surprised at the HUGE Bridges You’ll Cross

June 19, 2020

We had been eye-balling this trail ever since we started searching for places to ride and after we finished up the Weiser River Trail. And, after discovering that there is ANOTHER trail very close to the Aston-Tetonia Trail called the Right of Way Trail, we decided to go for a twofer! The only problem was…our Jamis Renegade had a broken derailleur hanger. Do you know how fast a bike can be ridden with a broken derailleur hanger?

After the Weiser River Trail, I decided to take the bicycles in for their first tune up. Some folks say that first tune up should happen at 100 miles and others say 300 miles. We had already ridden well more than 100 miles on my Salsa Journeyman and his Jamis Renegade and we had another 130 miles that we were planning to ride over a four-day, long weekend. We took them in the day after we got back from the Weiser River Trail with more than a week turn-around in front of us. The bicycles were due back just in time for the reservations I made for both the Aston-Tetonia Trail and the Right of Way Trail.

I called the bicycle shop to find out if the bicycles were ready. “Yes, the Salsa and the Electra (Mamma’s bike) are ready but we’re waiting on a part for the Jamis.”

“A part?” Why did the new bike need a part? “What’s missing?”

“We’re waiting on a derailleur hanger.” 

I am not sure you know what a derailleur hanger is. A derailleur hanger is a jigsaw puzzle-looking metal part that is “weaker” than the bicycle’s frame metal. It is a part that is actually purposefully designed to fail. And this is a good thing. The rear derailleur sticks out like a sore thumb. And, if the bike is ever crashed, stepped on, dropped or involved in a number of other catastrophes, the long derailleur would work like a leaver and, if force is applied to this part, the derailleur hanger will break instead of the frame being damaged. But, the problem with derailleur hangers is the fact that there are THOUSANDS of different shaped hangers for thousands of different bicycles. And, even different shapes for bicycles manufactured by the same company yet just a different year’s model.

We bought our bicycles in April 2020. They are both 2020 models. And with all the virus “hold ups” on shipping from China, the parts could not be sent to the US. And, with the bicycles being so new, after-market manufacturers have not yet begun to produce the hangers for the Jamis.

We were out of luck. And, at the time, didn’t really know how “out of luck” we really were. We had to postpone or ride plans by a week. And, then…again for another week. Then, the next week…the bicycle shop offered a loaner for us to use for a bit. And they really stepped up for us too. We were able to use another Salsa Journeyman with a tubeless set up and wide tires.

Like most all summers, motels and campgrounds fill up FAST. And, trying to organize lodging plans for multiple nights in multiple locations was a chore. The first bike trip was to be between Aston, ID and Tetonia, ID. Being on bicycles, we were limited on distances and therefore options to lodge. If Ashton had an available place to stay one night but there was no place to stay in Tetonia the next night then we’d have to go back to the calendar to find another pair of dates that would work. With the Right of Way Trail also, we needed to make sure we had a place to camp. There was one night where neither Ashton (ended up after our 2-day there-and-back) nor the campground at the trailhead of the Right of Way had available lodging. But West Yellowstone did and the dates worked out to get a Yellowstone National Park visit in between the two rides. As a matter of fact, there are many photographs to see at the end of the Day 2 Video.

When planning to ride a long-distance, there-and-back rail-to-trail, I like to try to start on the low side and ride “up” on day one (or the first part of the day) and ride “down” on the second day. You know; kind of a “reward” system. We started the trail in Aston, Idaho at about 5275 feet and rode the nearly 30 miles north to Tetonia, Idaho at about 6054 feet. 

Like the Weiser River Trail video, we decided to break this video up into two parts: Day One and Day Two. Yes, they are long videos and I hope they are entertaining enough to keep you watching. They are edited with many purposes in mind. First, to post our adventures for our families to see (we have relations all over the place). Second, to show others (you that are interested) what we have accomplished. No, it ain’t much to some folks but these rides are a big accomplishment to us. Third, to make it available for folks who are thinking about riding the trails and want to see what’s what in regards to the trails; maybe they will be better prepared for planning and packing. 

And, like the Weiser River Trail article, I created a Video Index so you can, if you are inclined to do so, skip ahead to see the parts you really are interested in viewing.

You can find us over at Trail Link at: https://www.traillink.com/profiles/sulaearts

Day One Video Index

00:00 – Introduction
00:20 – Geared Up and Getting Ready to Ride
00:53 – The Map
01:12 – Hitting the Trail Head
01:30 – Trail Video Collage
01:41 – Talking About the Trail Surface
02:19 – Bridge Crossing over the Fall River
03:00 – Rough Trail
03:33 – Conant Creek Trestle Crossing
03:35 – Video and Photographs of the View from The Conant Creek Bridge
04:08 – Trail Video Collage
04:58 – At the Detour
06:16 – Navigating the Hills on the Detour Dirt Road
10:15 – Making Our Own Detour
11:19 – Found a Railroad Spike
11:40 – Back on the Trail / Trail Video Collage
12:44 – Mile Marker at Mile 16
13:22 – Teton Mountains
13:45 – Trail Video Collage
15:20 – Stopping to Take a Few Photographs
16:17 – Trail Video Collage
16:22 – Morris Creek Bridge and a View at an Old Homestead
17:12 – Photographs and Video Taken from and Of the Morris Creek Bridge
18:08 – Leaving the Bridge and a Trail Video Collage
18:50 – Lunch Time
19:26 – Back on the Trail – Trail Video Collage
22:31 – Last Couple of Miles
22:57 – Mile Marker Number 29
23:49 – WELCOME TO TETONIA!
25:15 – Heading into Town
25:54 – Dutch Oven Cooking (See Recipe)
28:27 – Let’s EAT!
29:20 – End of Day One – Watch Day 2
29:36 – Video Concludes

Photography

Bicycle On Fall River Bridge
Bicycle On Fall River Bridge
Trail with the Teton Mountains
Trail with the Teton Mountains
Old Homestead
Old Homestead
Old Barn
Old Barn

On the next article, Aston-Tetonia Ride Day Two, I’ll show the more photographs.

With that being said, here’s the link to get you over to day 2: https://gravelgrindingboys.com/ashton-to-tetonia-trail-day-two/

See You On Day 2

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