Technically, I guess we are on the way to Thailand now. Once this trip is over, it’s Tucson, then back East!
The next day after the eclipse we stopped by the church camp and thanked Marlon. We went a bit further up the mountain and then had a marvelous downhill speedfest for 4 miles or so. The climbing was not over, however. We had some rough mountain roads to contend with but we were having a blast. We decided we will take hills over wind any day because at least you can see what you are up against!
We were covered in dust from all the traffic coming off the mountain but the scenery was unbelievable. On the west side of the range, it looked like Rohan from Lord of the Rings! Wyoming in the mountains is some beautiful country to travel by bike. We found a beautiful campsite hidden behind some boulders and watched the sun go down with a delicious IPA and some canned chicken and rice.
The next day was a pretty big mileage day with the destination of Rock River, WY (Pop 245). Our food stores were running a bit slim and the wind in the plains made the going very slow. Are you sensing a trend yet?
Luckily along the way we met a Wildlife Biologist who stopped to talk. He was heading home after several days in the field and hooked us up with bagels, chips, cherries and gatorade. We gladly accepted and housed several plain bagels. On the road, food becomes fuel and you get to know what your body needs. Also you can pretty much eat whatever the hell you want and still lose weight.
The road to Rockwater soon turned into a washboard bump fest with blazing hot sun and you guessed it… wind! We trudged along and eventually rolled into “town”. The motel said you need to register at the general store across the street so we went over to inquire. Honestly a room could have been $300 and we would have taken it, luckily $77 was the price. We dropped our stuff in the room and hit the only restaurant in town (twice). There was no hot water so we took cold showers. We spent $55 at the general store on absolute garbage food (Canned beef stew, combos, snickers, etc.) The next day the owner shut the water off completely to replace the water heater without telling us. We had to go next door to use the bathroom and brush our teeth, but they agreed to refund us half the price.
We rode out of Wheatland and followed an access “road” for powerlines. It was semi-sketchy, running through a lot of ranches, but none of the gates we went through were locked and we never got off the road. We had a close encounter with a big bull at one point. The cows in general were not used to people and definitely not bikes. Instead of running away they would square up and stare us down. One big ass bull stood up and looked at us menacingly. We calmly talked to him and backed away and after a tense 30 seconds, he lost interest and wandered off. After that we were very careful to check for the telltale sign that the male cows were not steers!
The path continued and we saw some thunderstorms forming in the distance. We kept moving to stay ahead of them and got caught in some serious wind at the top of a ridge. We kept pressing until the road we planned to take was not there at all. We jumped a fence only because we had no other choice and basically rode straight through a field until we found another gravel road. It led to a ranch where we met Kyle who had a strong northern accent. We asked for directions and he helped us get the bikes over a fence. He offered us his house to wait out the storm, but we elected to keep moving.
We pressed on toward Laramie and took shelter under a highway underpass waiting for the wind and rain to die down. Cold beef stew and pedialite was our lunch as we huddled under the bridge like a couple of hobos. Eventually we got to Laramie and Lyfted from the hotel to a steakhouse/brewery for dinner.