Here's the last post from Steamboat. I'm going to make a confession here and list all the places that I have cheated and will cheat from here on out. (By cheating, I mean cutting off the route in one place or another.)
El Paso, NM -- we didn't start at the official start spot. But we started on the border, most of the miles we cut off were highway anyway, and we actually did more miles on our cutoff than the route would have had us do. So this one wasn't really cheating.
Collins Park, NM -- to do the official route, we would have had to go 60 miles without water in the desert down there. There was a shorter route (on gravel) that we only had to go 30 or 40. So we cut that one off.
Whitehorse, NM -- this was real cheating. We took a ride from a guy because Tim's derailleuer was in such bad shape that he could only go about 8 miles an hour. This was slightly dubious because the bike would still run, but it turned out for the best. I kind of regret it though because it means I really won't have biked all the way if I finish in MT. But, it's about the ride, right.
Today -- took the highway for about 8 miles instead of a parallel dirt road. The road was under construction and the highway was deserted, so what the heck.
Future cheating -- WY. There's a stretch of desert with no water for 120 miles. The map says to carry 3-4 gallons of water. No thanks -- especially doing the route solo. I'm going to take the highway around.
The bottom line though is that it's about having a good time on the bike out here. Wyoming isn't going to be a whole lot of fun anyway, but it would be downright miserable (and dangerous) to try to push through solo. So, no regrets. Word.