Wednesday, July 20, 2016

TD 2016 Never Give Up - Wyoming

From Brush Mountain to the Wyoming line, it's about 15 miles of mostly downhill and was great in the early morning chill. At Savery, Bundy and I stopped to refill our water and get ready for the ride to Wamsutter. Wish the Little Snake River Museum had been open, it looked like a really cool museum to check out, but no waiting around, we had a string of rollers to tackle. I likened it to a third grade writing exercise where someone once wrote "the little airplane went up up up up .... and then down down down down .... " for 100 words. Finally get to the top of this thing and start to run into more southbound riders, including Hal Russell, who has done this at least four times.

The view of the Red Desert is simply stunning, this is a beautiful place, but being ruined by fracking and oil exploration with big cleared areas with industrial junk sitting around on pads behind fences.  There is a pretty 50 miles, the first part, followed by an ugly 26 miles where the majority of the oil stuff is. It's a slight uphill going north, we had a wind in our faces and there is just enough gravel to slow you down. Then added to that, my backside was starting to really bother me, more then ever before and each washboard would hurt.


Bird nests in a Quonset Hut on the way to Wamsutter
The road goes on forever
Hal Russell

From the bluff on the connector trail

Against the Wind
So little Wamsutter, nothing much other than a Love's truck stop on I-80 was good to get to. We ate at the Mexican restaurant and took a nap near the health center on some nice grass, waiting for the sun to start to go down and the wind to lie down. Finally rolled north about 8 pm and got in another 15 or so miles in the early darkness as a head start on what would be a hard day. I found a camping spot that looked pretty nice, setup the tent, got in it and twenty minutes later was awakened by a bright light about 1/4 mile away, seems I was pretty close to one of the oil things and they were doing some nonsense at 11 pm on a Sunday night !

Up the next morning in what was probably the coldest night of the whole ride, and headed for Atlantic City. I really liked the connector that we took, riding and sometimes pushing along a bluff high above some of the desert. Had a Fanta soda with me and it bounced out and destroyed itself on a rock, not a drop to be salvaged !

Getting to Atlantic City was hard, with more west wind in my face. I stopped at Diagnus Well, didn't need the water, but wanted to see the well. That last few miles to the Sweetwater River just went on forever and the backside issue was now starting to really hurt.

Atlantic City was open, got a burger and fries and pie and Cokes and iced tea and we found a cabin next to the Mercantile to stay in for the night. On to Pinedale the next day, the ride was actually pretty pleasant, with not much wind and a to-go burger from the night before to eat on the way.

In Pinedale, I bought a mirror at a hardware store, and coupled with my flashlight, a tube of Neosporin and my knife, did a little bit of lancing on a spot on my bottom, rather than waiting for a clinic. Wasn't sure that was going to work, but it did !

Tog Pass and Wilderness Beyond
Delicious !

When you leave Pinedale, it's on pavement for quite a few miles then hits dirt at the Forest boundary near the Green River. I knew from last year this place is full of mosquitos and it gave me great pleasure to pull out a larger sized spray can and kill about 20 of the things on my legs ( dead mosquitos stuck in sweat and bug spray ! )  We climbed up towards Union Pass and took the Continental Divide Trail piece that I got confused on last year, with a great tailwind and a storm brewing. It was spectacular up there !  Then around a turn where you could see Togwotee Pass and made it to Lava Mountain Lodge where the restaurant was open with some of the better food I had on the whole trip.

Jackson Lake

Had plans the next morning to stop for breakfast at Togwotee Mountain Lodge and we got there at 10:02 and they would not serve us breakfast as their hours went to 10.  One of the few things on the whole trip that really just infuriated me. Got a burrito at the gas station and then a good lunch at Grass Valley Cafe just before Moran Junction.  The ride along Jackson Lake is pretty, but there are way too many cars and RV's ... it's just one big string of motorized junk. We stopped for the day at Flagg Ranch, got a tent site that was kinda marginal. Some fool parked next to us decided he had to start up his bloody pickup truck to drive someplace at 10 pm ( there is no place to go, he probably drove to the store about 1/10 of a mile away ... just lazy ) then comes back and beeps his car alarm.

The next morning we left and headed for Squirrel Creek in Idaho.

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