Today marked my first day in the desert. In case there was any doubt last night I attended a rodeo down the road from the church I was staying at. It was really cool, and definitely a bit of culture shock. I set off around 8 to a cool morning, saying goodbye to my new friends from the church (legs, machine, and Darwin the hikers, and Jordan and Chrissie the divide riders). On tap for the day was a mostly downhill ride to the town of Lander of about 70 miles. I felt good in the morning and enjoyed the downhill through the new scenery: red painted hills of rock
I followed the Wind River down the road as it meandered through the valley and into the Wind River Indian Reservation. I dont know the implications of being in an Indian reservation, so I’ll just hope I don’t get arrested here. One thing that did change as I got on the reservation was that the road surface got much more bumpy: small cracks in the shoulder every 10 feet were slowly rattling my bones to bits. At one point they were giving me a headache. I compensated by slowing down a bit and trying to ride over the narrowest part of each crack
That mostly ended the rocky section of the road and I entered long flat straightaways that would dip 100 feet down and require a climb back out. That was somewhat exhausting. I saw the classic telephone poles extending as far as the eye can see line
I reached the town of Crowheart (named after the heart of a crow indian that a rival chief had displayed on his spear after a battle) and shipped a few thing home at the post office (only open 8:30 - 10:30 on Saturday) and got some lunch breakfast. A woman told me about her tour in the 90s from Washington to Maine. She also told me that another cyclist was coming the opposite direction down the road. I got on the road and he came pedaling into sight just a few miles later. He told me to stay with Mike in Lander, I told him to stay at the church in Dubois. He was also a software engineer which was cool. We parted and I got back to riding. There was really only one climb today and it was through another stony canyon.
I put on music and that helped me get through it. A few more miles down the road and I reached Fort Washakie. I got some snacks and enjoyed a bit of shade. It was starting to get hot, around 93 and the sun was shining strong. Around town they’d just done construction and the road surface was perfectly flat. It was really nice to ride on.
I pulled into Lander around 3 and went to the bike shop. The owner and other employees were fantastic. They said they’ve been taking care of tourists for years. They gave me ice cream and took a look at the spoke I’d replaced and retrued the wheel. I hung around and met Shaka the dog. I got on the wifi and just relaxed after the day of riding. After an hour of lazing about I went to my lodging for the night, a warmshowers host in town named Mike. He let me in and showed me around his beautiful home, featuring a teepee, treehouse, hammock, and stream running through the property. It was beautiful. I was just getting ready to go out for a solo dinner when three other cyclists for the night rolled up. They had a heck of a last few days, with one of them having 7 flats in 4 days. They got unpacked and showered. I waited until they were finished then we headed to dinner in town. It was awesome. Their names were Emmy, Jordan, and Adam (not sure on the last one sorry!). We had a really nice, massive dinner. I had a full rack of ribs and a shake for dessert. We walked back to the house and then sat on the balcony just chatting. It was really nice. The moon was coming up an orangey color so we walked to the park to see it. Around this time our hosts came back from dinner and Mike joined us. Again, just walking around the park was awesome. We came back and now I’m writing this up instead of sleeping. Night!
- Ham and cheese sandwich
- Iced tea
- Shot blocks
- Pbnj tortilla
- Fruit gummies
- Rack of ribs
- Mashed potatoes
- Rocky mountain oysters
- Other fried stuff
- Raspberry shake