Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TD 2015 - Wyoming

Wyoming. The windy place, the place of the Great Basin, and here we are, crossing from Colorado to the little town of Savery who had a museum with a water supply for cyclists and then right into the Basin on our way to Wamsutter.  It would be about 80 miles to Wamsutter, starting with some of the biggest rollers I've seen .. steep climbs and crazy steep descents, and then Jeff and I were on a high plain riding along as the day grew warmer.

Jeff in front of the only store in Savery, and it's closed ( for a long time )

Billy and Liana !!

We ran into Billy Rice and Liana on their tandem doing a father daughter ride, chatted for a bit as well as with a lot of other southbound riders.  Being northbounders, we would see just about everyone doing TD.  That water bottle that I left in Clark the previous day was starting to become a problem and I found myself rationing my water more that I would have wished.  Finally we could see the water tower of Wamsutter showing after riding on a slight climb through a large oil field south of the town.

Wamsutter is a new addition to TD, put in this year to avoid some serious construction south of Rawlins and it worked well.  I got to the Subway and ordered a sandwich and drank about 5 large Cokes and promptly had a overload of sugar in my system and felt like hell.  Jeff on the other hand was feeling pretty good and he wanted to head out at sundown, but I wasn't ready and elected to get a hotel room and maybe leave early in the morning.  But when morning came I was still feeling bad so I ate again at a Mexican restaurant which was pretty good, got some pie to go and ate more and left at sundown.
On the Basin north of Wamsutter

Connector and a wild horse 

I rode into wind and thunderstorms all around me, and saw a nice group of wild horses as I rode north, kept going, the sun went down and rode into the night.  The rain finally caught up with me and I pulled over into the sage, setup my tent and slept soundly.  The next morning I packed up at sunrise and found the connector trail between the road we had been on and another road that would take me into the oil field and connect with a road going to Atlantic City.

A lot of empty out there in the Middle !

Easy Street 

Atlantic City Bar

Wasn't a bad day, I passed the markers for the Landers cutoff for the Oregon trail, and finally the Sweetwater River and was in Atlantic City, and to my surprise, the bar was open !  Normally closed on Mondays, they were getting ready for 4th of July so I got to eat, and then come back and eat again, and got pointed to a cabin owned by a cowboy named Mark.  It was a great deal, a beautiful little place he had build himself.

I woke up the next morning to a very low rear tire.  Pumped it up, turned it so the Stans would settle in that area, and hoped for the best.  It held !   Started riding towards Boulder and Pinedale and encountered the strongest winds of the trip.  A sign said 42 miles to Boulder and I thought I would never, never get there.  Met the last of the southbound TD riders and got to Pinedale, where I ate, shopped for bear spray and got a hotel room.

Empty Country

Cora, WY

In the morning out again in my routine, find breakfast, buy something at a convenience store and roll.  A little place called Cora with a kitty in the window of the Post Office, up into the forest along the Green River.  Climbing and riding and making pretty good progress until my GPS show the track going to the left where I thought it should be on the road in front of me.  Am sitting on the side of the road looking at where the GPS says to go and looking at the ACA map that shows something completely different, talking to the ATV guy who stopped and later to the Deputy Sheriff who stopped with both of them saying "there's nothing over there - you want to go where it shows on your map - that's Cripple Creek ranch - you want to go there"  So there I go, as friends in Tucson are watching my track get further and further from the course.  I commit to a steep downhill to get to Cripple Creek and once in the restaurant, eating and using the WiFi, I figure out that I completely missed one of the reroutes that Matthew had emailed us.  I had no clue it was there, thinking they were referring to something over in Idaho !  So, I am like 8 miles off route and at least 1000 feet down in a hole from where I should be.  But I am well fed and sleeping in a bunkhouse, so to bed and up in the morning and back up the hill.  The GPS was right after all and the alternate course was pretty passing along part of the CDT and then taking me back down Lava Mountain.

Pup at Cripple Creek making sure I am set in my bunkhouse 

I was supposed to take this trail

At the Lava Mountain store I met some road tourers on their way to Oregon.  They were headed up to Togwotee Pass.  I would get to the pass also, but had to use a forest road vs US 26.  I had a couple of burritos and several drinks and then got to my forest road and right at the top of the pass I come around a corner and there are the four road cyclists ( they seem pretty surprised that I caught up to them even using that forest road ).

Coming up to Togwotee Pass on Forest Road

Took a fast downhill and got to Togwotee Lodge and decided to stay there for the night, even though it was seriously overpriced.  The morning would find me entering Grand Teton National Park and riding along Jackson Lake.
Jackson Lake and the Tetons

I met more cyclists doing the TD route at Cotter Bay and then stopped at Headquarters for some lunch.  At this point I started going west on another forest road and someplace out there crossed into Idaho.  One of the fellows I met at Cotter said to checkout the Squirrel Lodge near Ashton and I did and it was a good stop.  Larry the owner fixed me up with supper and a cabin to stay in, and breakfast the next morning.

So Wyoming was done, and I'm in the Snake River valley of Idaho, with the Rail Trail to come next.

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