Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 43: Lander, WY to DuNoir Creek, WY (88 Miles)

The small village of tents had grown even larger after I fell asleep. Amongst these new tents were three very familiar ones. I concluded that they probably concealed three tired Brits. After brushing my teeth, I walked over to their tents and put on an official voice and said, "Excuse me... this is Lander police, we've had reports of non-US residents camping on the grounds. Please come out from your tents with identification." I then found Dowds and Chris looking rather confused. We had a good laugh and apparently they had partied with the "artist" in Jeffrey City and then decided to ride all the way to Lander for the night. They got into the park well past their bedtime. Dangerous? Yes... nevertheless, it was good to see the lads one more time.

We also spent a bit of the morning with another Brit, Matt. We chatted for a bit and planned on meeting up again later in the day. Aaron and Saz were slowly waking up, but we also planned on ending the day in the same place, so we said our temporary goodbye's. We left Lander behind us and rode into Fort Washakie, a reservation town. We grabbed some chocolate milk and donuts. As we left the town, we also noticed that someone changed the rocks in the formation spelling "Fort Washakie" and changed it to "Fart Washakie." Immature? Yes. Funny? Yes.

The morning ride was nearly perfect. There was hardly any wind and the temperature was simply serene. Sure, we were still running over thousands of grasshoppers.. but we felt good. When we stopped in Crowheart for the essentials from the local store... Gatorade, candy bars, hunting rifles, horse saddles... (you name it, they've got it), I commented to Christopher: "It's amazing, this is the first day without wind in Wyoming!" I should have bit my tongue.

Within a few miles of Crowheart, we began to encounter a fierce headwind. The wind was so strong, that we struggled to bike down a hill leading into a river basin. Now, I should have seen this coming... especially considering the river is called "Wind River." We later found that this stretch towards Dubois is notorious amongst Westbounders and have left grown men crying. I could only laugh. We made very slow time, but finally made it into Dubois and met Matt for an early dinner.

We debated riding 10 miles out of town, but hearing that the KOA charged $27.00 for a campsite sealed the deal that we would be moving on. After stomaching more greasy, nasty diner food... we kept riding against the wind... and wind it was. I was getting more confident in my strength/stamina; however, this wind made me feel weak and incompetent. Anyways, we finally arrived at a dirt road leading to a house owned by Dave and JoAnn. A lovely old couple, they offer "hostel" services to bikers on the Trans-Am and the Great Divide Trail. As we began to turn, we noticed Aaron catching up to us. We asked where Saz was and Aaron informed us that she hit a wall... the wind and heat was too much for her. I could relate. She got a ride to the hostel and was already waiting for us. After a short ride up a dirt road, we were home for the night.

Dave, JoAnne, Wrigley (their dog), and Saz were waiting for us and kindly showed us our sleeping quarters. Aaron and Saz were sleeping the log cabin, while the Chrisses and I were bunking on cots in their garage. We were then informed to be careful, because two moose were around the back of the house. We then flocked around to the back porch to get a look. Christopher was glad to have finally seen a moose, and now they "officially exist." We washed up and used their outhouse, while JoAnne prepared a wonderful pasta dinner.

It was a great dinner... but, I ate way too much. I didn't think this would be possible on this trip, but the second helping finally put me over. Not wanting to think about food, the rest seemed excited about the prospect of sleeping in and having breakfast at 8:00AM. I was more focused on keeping my stomach from imploding... I'll just have to be careful not to bump into a moose when stumbling through the dark in search of the outhouse.


Momma said...

Thank you Blake for all the wonderful photo's you have been taking. We can't get enough!! God speed son!!
Love, from your M&D

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