Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday June 18 – Day 29 – outside South Pass City, WY

People in Wyoming are straight up jerks. That’s all I can say.

I’m sitting here in a rest area on WY 28, the road from 287 south toward more nothing. It’s blowing hard – probably a steady 20-25, with gusts at 35-40. The flag next to me hasn’t stopped snapping since I got here.

So I come out of the can and I see this guy sneaking back toward his truck from my stuff, which was spread out on a picnic table. He comes back over, and I say hi, trying to figure out what he was up to.

This idiot was just like out of the movies. I tell him where I was going, and he says, “that’s the road to Big Sandy! Right into the heart of Wyoming ranching and mining country. We don’t mind tourists on our highways, but have you ever seen Deliverance?” Then he started telling me about how the bears, mountain lions, and wolves would join forces with a herd of wild horses and wipe this tourist off the face of the earth. Then he got out his binocs and claimed that he was looking at a wolf (when I asked to see he said the wolf had gone up over the ridgeline). He did have a bit of useful information though. He suggested what I was kind of thinking of anyway – that I camp at the wayside and ride in the morning when the wind died down. That’s what I’m going to do here. (It worked out fine – the worst that happened was some kids on shrooms stopped in the middle of the night and woke me up.)

My goal for tomorrow is Boulder – something like 60-70 miles away with no big climbs, some of it on pavement. Hopefully I can get 40 miles or so in the morning before the wind picks up, and if I have to fight the last few miles I should still be OK.

I absolutely hate this wind country. I can understand why everyone is so surly out here – I would be too if I had to listen to it whistle in my ears all day. Ugh.
Anyway – today’s ride. Today started out great – rolled out to an easy breeze at 6 AM, hung out at a place called Sixth Crossing with some Mormons about 20 miles in, and hit my turnoff back toward the route (WY 28) before noon. But because I was off the map, I hit this monster climb that I wasn’t expecting. It must have been all of 3000 feet, made all the more cruel by the fact that it had three false summits. Every time I thought I was at the top I would turn the corner and there would be another stretch just like the one I came up. After 20 miles straight up – the last five into the wind, which started picking up around 1 – I was dead beat, with nowhere to camp. I just kept plodding into the wind, looking for someplace to camp, and ended up at this wayside. By then, I was seriously wondering why I do this. But now with some food and a plan I’m feeling better about things. Tomorrow is another day.

Day 29 stats:

82 miles (all pavement)
5000 feet up
one screaming headwind

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