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September 20th -
Drew came to pick me up about 12:30. My trip is officially over. I made it!
I'll update this page again fairly soon, with a few wrap-up thoughts, but it may not be until after I'm back in California. Now is the time for me to just relax and hang out with my brother.
I do have pictures from the last couple of days, but I'm too tired to get them up tonight. They should be up in a day or two with the last couple of maps, too.
September 19th -
32 miles. After the first 10, it was mostly downhill into Kremmling. Unfortunately, the last six miles were on a highway which had no shoulder and lots of traffic. I had to get off the bike and walk, because I didn't want to get hit on my last day of riding.
Originally, I was planning to have Drew (my brother) pick me up in Silverthorne, which is another 30 miles (or so) from Kremmling, but I heard that a) the road between had the same lack of shoulder, and b) that rain and snow were expected for tomorrow. So I called up Drew, and left a message asking him to pick me up here instead. Looks like I'm done! Yay!
September 18th -
42 miles, and lots of climbing. I'm camping up at the top of Lynx Pass, in an improved campground (that means that there's water and bathrooms). I just finished sharing the large campfire of Roland and Bea, the camp hosts. Rode through some beautiful country today, and tomorrow's supposedly even better We'll see...
September 17th -
15 miles. A short day, but I get a rested early start tomorrow. It turns out, even with the two patches I put on yesterday, the tire was still leaky, so I got a new tube at the bike shop today. My stop at the post office wasn't as productive -- they either misplaced or sent back my package. Luckily, I still have leftovers from my last shipment. It should be enough to carry me through my last three days.
September 16th -
39 miles. This was another case of not finding a good stopping point when I wanted to stop. I think, between yesterday and today, I'm about 20 miles ahead of schedule. I only have about 15 miles to go to get to Steamboat Springs, which is where I was planning to stop tomorrow. I may still stop there, as I've had a couple tough days, or I may see if there's a good place to stop farther down the road.
The leaking tire that I've been nursing for the last several days finally gave up, and went from a slow leak (I had to pump it up about twice a day) to a very fast leak (pump up every mile). So I finally patched it. Since I had a flat, and no convenient place to stay earlier, I ended up asking a rancher if I could pitch a tent on his grounds. He was really nice, and pointed me at his teepee, so I'm staying there tonight. Cool! He also let me use his shop to fix my tire.
September 15th -
45 miles. Therejust wasn't any good place to stop, so I just kept going. tHERE WERE A XOUPLE OF RANCHES THAT i PASED, BUY NONE OF THEM PUT UP GUESTS, AND THERE WERE NO OBVIOUS CAMPING SPOTS, EITHER. sO, HERE i AM, CAMPED BNY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, ON A SURGACE WHICH ISN'T BERYT FLAT. oH WELL. iT'S ONLY ONE NIGHT.
oH YEAH. i'M IN cOLOATRADO TONIGHT, TOO.
I guess I'm not a very good touch typist: The above was typed without looking, because it's so much more comfortable to type that way in the sleeping bag when I'm cold.
September 14th -
38 miles, about half on dirt. Actually, 38.03 miles, according to my new odometer. It's nice to have a working one again. It really increases my peace of mind. The nice thing was that, even on the pavement, there was very little traffic. Also, there wasn't a whole lot of wind, either. It made for a nice, relaxed day of riding. A nice first day out after a rest.
As I was coming up on my divide crossing this afternoon, a young guy pulled up beside me, rolled down his window, and asked, "Are you mentally deficient?" After chatting for a minute or two, he invited me to stay in his campsite, which is right by a little creek about 2 miles off the road. His name is also John, and miraculously, I found his campsite. We roasted weenies over the campfire and talked about all sorts of things. It was a really nice change from camping alone in the cold with no fire. He's on his way to Oregon, to start a new life there. I wish him luck!
September 13th -
I stayed in Rawlins today, since the bike shop wasn't open. I guess Monday is their day to play.
September 12th -
37 miles, still all on pavement. I got a fairly early start, and had a pretty easy day. The weather never turned ugly last night, and the wind died down about 11:30, so it was a pretty quiet after that. I'm in Rawlins, WY, so tomorrow I'm back on the trail. I'm looking forward to getting out of traffic. The bike shop listed on my map is no longer in business, but there's one in the yellow pages, so I'll see if I can get a new odometer there in the morning before I head out.
September 11th -
36 miles, all on pavement. I was thinking it was going to be a really easy day, and it was easier than most, but it got interesting the last 10 miles or so. My primary experience of Wyoming is wind. Anyway, the wind started picking up about the same time that the shoulder got narrower. Since it was a crosswind, and gusty, I found I couldn't stay on the shoulder, so I started walking. Better than getting hit by one of those double-long trucks! I'm really looking forward to getting back on less traveled roads. It's amazing how glad I was to see the pavement yesterday, and how glad I'm anticipating being when I get on dirt the day after tomorrow!
Right now, I'm sitting in a tent that's flapping and swaying in the wind. This is the first time I've believed it necessary to stake down all corners of it, and a few times I've felt like if I weren't in it, it would've blown away anyway! There are some dark clouds that the wind is bringing closer. I hope that once they pass, the wind will calm down. If not, it'll be interesting trying to sleep in this. Maybe I'll dream I'm on the Vineyard, sailing trough a squall. The canvas is flapping, the world moving -- all that's missing is the salt air!!
Anyway, it feels like it might be snow coming. I think I'd prefer that to rain, as long as it warms up again in the morning, which it always seems to so far. Whatever the storm brings, I'm really glad I have my new warm sleeping bag! Ahh, the simple pleasures...
September 10th -
56 miles! The first 31 were on dirt, and the last 15 of those were on sand. Yuck! I was really glad to see the pavement, with a wide shoulder to boot! The last 20 miles were pretty interesting, as I got a slow leak in my back tire, and I was racing a lightning storm. I was cranking hard. I guess the adrenaline from the storm really helped. I did those last 20 miles in about an hour and a half. I got a little wet, but the lightning never got closer than about a mile away. It felt like I was in Star Wars, flying my bicycle out of the exploding Death Star -- I had such a strong tailwind from the storm, it was like I was just barely escaping the explosion.
I saw some more antelope today (forgot to mention that yesterday). One of them ran around me about 60 feet away. They're really fast! I guess I'm officially home on the range now...
Pictures of the last four days...
September 9th -
38 miles today, according to the map. Unfortunately, the odometer had finally given up the ghost. This means that I'll probably be taking well-marked paved roads, instead of going through the maze of dirt roads in the desert for the next couple of days. This means I'll be putting in more miles to get to Rawlins, but hopefully, on pavement, I can do more per day.
Well, the new sleeping bag works great!! I had to adjust things, 'cause I was too hot for a while, but I eventually had to zip up all the way, and I was really cozy. When I got up this morning, I was surprised to see that there was frost on the ground. I didn't feel that cold.
I've got pictures in the laptop for the last couple of days, but you'll have to wait, since I'm using the home phone of the proprietors of the Miner's Delight B&B in Atlantic City. I guess I must really be getting in shape to go from Boulder to Atlantic City in just 32 hours! (OK, it was Boulder, WY to Atlantic City, WY, but it sounds cool...)
September 8th -
Wow! I did 50 miles today, and I've set up camp, and it's actually still light enough to see what I'm typing. The new footwear definitely helps, although part of the reason I was able to crank out so many miles is that the first 30 were on pavement.
I'm going to sleep really well tonight. My tent is pitched no more than five feet away from Little Sandy Creek, which is babbling away like it's schizophrenic. It's really soothing. This campsite is probably only a mile from the divide, and I'm going to cross it twice tomorrow, and ride right along it for a while, too. I think it's going to get cold enough that I won't be sorry I bought the new warmer bag. We'll see.
September 7th -
27 miles today, and about 4 miles walking around town (Pinedale). I got into town about 11am, which wasn't bad considering I started out 27 miles away. I got everything done I wanted to get done, too. Got the bike tuned up, new handlebar padding, new pedals, new shoes, a new sleeping bag, a camelbak, and some other minor sundries. I also made two trips to the post office, one to pick up my Clif bars (Yes, I am getting sick of them), and the second one to ship off my old shoes, pedals, and sleeping bag.
I'm really excited to see how it goes for the next couple of days with all my new improved equipment! Maybe it will make all of my aches and pains magically disappear! (I'm not holding my breath...)
September 6th -
Only 21 miles today. I was trying to make it to Pinedale today, which would have been 46 miles. If I were fresh, I probably could have made it. As it was, I was short on sleep (it was so cold, I didn't get to sleep until about 4:30), and my feet really hurt from all the walking I did yesterday in my bike shoes. After about 18 miles today, I gave up, put on my sandals, and started walking. At 21 miles, I came upon the only guest ranch between here and Pinedale, so I decided to stop for the day.
I'm going to get an early start tomorrow, so I don't have to spent two days in Pinedale. There's a bike shop there, so I'll get a tune-up, as well as pick up my care package. My shopping list for Pinedale:
- Handlebar padding
- new bike shoes that fit better, or new pedals and sneakers
- new water bottle
- Sunscreen and moisturizer
- winter gloves
- warm socks for sleeping
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