Solid day! It began about as well as any day can, with eggs, toast and tea. I chatted with Mike as the rest of the cyclists woke up. They were taking a rest day so in no hurry. I got up around 7 and by the time breakfast, packing and everything else was done it was 9. I said goodbye to everyone and rolled out. I rode out of town to find a series of hills. Unfortunately these hills had a passing lane near the top which ate up the shoulder I was riding on. This forced me out into traffic for these segments. It was a little scary but not too bad.
Soon enough I’d cleared the hills and turned East on 287. This brought me into a series of hills and valleys that was very pleasant.
I put on some music around this time (which I normally don’t do) and that got me really hyped up. I started speeding up and down these smaller low lying hills. It was fun but it also meant I was burning a lot of energy and water. I would soon come to regret it.
I got a descent and saw large hills rising up in front of me. That was a bit worrying. I hadn’t checked the elevation profile so had no idea what was ahead
I kept riding and sure enough saw the road climbing for a long way to the rim of the bowl I now realized I was in. There was nothing to do but climb. I later checked the elevation and was surprised that it was only 1X00 feet (not sure exactly). It felt like more, I think it had just been hot and long. As I got to the top I got a nice view of where I’d come from. The red arrow is the approximate start (I don’t think the actual start is visible)
As I got to the top I’d gone through both my bottles of water and a gatorade. I started on the eight miles or so to the next refill, a rest area. By the time I arrived I’d also gone through my backup bottle. I carry a camelback bladder too so it wasn’t dire but definitely a good reminder to carry enough. I ate and hydrated at the rest stop, called Sweetwater Station, and enjoyed the cold water. After refilling my bottles I got onto a sequence of long straight roads. It was an event when there was a bend.
The other thing is that the winds were erratic through here. I mostly had a tailwind but it would sometimes shift and become a headwind. I just got in the drops and did my best to not catch the wind, and keep the bike straight. They weren’t too strong, but certainly enough to be felt. After maybe an hour and a half I arrived at my destination for the night, Jeffrey City. This was an old uranium mining town. When the mine shut down so did most the people: the current population was 58. It was a strange mix of nice houses and dilapidated falling down storefronts. I went into one of these storefronts, the Split Rock Cafe, to ask about cyclist housing my map said was here. The bartender sold me some candy and drinks and told me that the large church outback was the housing. I went to check it out. I was blown away, it was a church standing by itself in a field.
I went around back and entered. There were two other cyclists there Kristin and Dakon. The main room is this massive concrete room that seems like it shouldn’t fit in the building but it somehow does
We chatted, then they went to the cafe I’d just come from for dinner. I showered (there are showers!) and got unpacked. I wrote up a previous version of this post which blogger deleted 😭 then headed to the bar. I got steak fried hamburger which I’ve never had. The bartender was also the chef so things moved very slowly. I got my food and it was edible. I ran into another cyclist going Eastbound! His name is Paul and he’s from Long Beach. We discussed the fires and reroutes. He’s staying in a motel in town. I went back to the church and did a few chores. Kristin and Dakon played some music on the piano in the church which was really pleasant. I wrote my info on the wall which was really fun I’m finishing typing up this second version of this post now, then am gonna head to bed. Night!
- Cinnamon roll
- Cliff bar
- Pb&j tortilla
- Turkey sticks
- Chicken fried steak
- Baked potato