So we made it through another state!
We are sad to see Colorado go, but what a great welcoming Wyoming, the ‘Forever West’ state, gave us!
We stopped for a picnic on the road side, where a young cow regretted asking how calves were made.
Following that we stumbled on a free music festival called What Fest in Riverside (population 52), and what a fun time we had!!
We stayed in a awesome campsite called Lazy Acres run by Bruce. For other tourers this is a must stay! They had topnotch facilities including a laundry library, wifi, lots of good grass, fantastic showers and even have a river at the end to play in.
When we arrived we met a couple of charming gents, Dennis and Mark. We shared a beer with them and learned some important information regarding Wyoming. One being they had minimal crime and violence, two being you can have dogs in festivals and three being you can have guns anywhere (including festivals). The WY people don’t worry to much about red tape and just crack on with hunting, fishing and drinking (we felt very at home).
That evening we watched a couple of bands and headed back to the tent early since we were shattered.
Only to be greeted by are awesome neighbors (Kayla and Justin) that invited us to share some vodka Gatorade with them, which we obviously welcomed.
We woke a little hazy and early at 7am, dam you body clock. Completed chores i.e. laundry and blog then enjoyed some lunch. Wish we had one of these to chill in. Not sure if it was for 3 good friends or one very fat person…
To get completely immersed in the festival feeling (and not at all because we may have forgotten to get cash out in the previous town) we volunteered in ‘parking’ for a couple of hours and were rewarded for our not at all hard work with free food and beer 🙂
By now we had made good friend with our neighbours and their family. Kayla’s mum and dad were super cool and very kind. They even gave Andy a beer or two and Lahni sourced me a gluten free cider yippee!!
Later we enjoyed a good old ho down and listen to some talented musician, highlight being Jalan Crossland Band (These guys were so good we watched them in the rain).
We woke to the sounds of rain, dam!! That’s always a downer knowing you have to put your tent away soggy!! Though one of our other senses could smell sausages. We were hoping that Dennis offer of breakfast was still available. To our delight it was and tasted delicious too! I don’t know how he cooked such good eggs on a camping stove. We said our goodbye to all of our lovely neighbours and set off. We stopped in a local store to get provision and everywhere you looked there was dead animal mounted on the wall. Andy spotted this slippery sucker (yes, thats a rattle snake!) on the shoulder, glad we didn’t get too close!
That day we were dodging thunder storms all morning.
Though when we arrived in Sinclair (oil town) it had cleared up so we enjoyed a picnic in the park. Here we met a cute local family out celebrating their sons birthday anc in keeping with any good celebration they gave us an apple ale (aka cider)!
We cycled the last stretch to Rawlins. This was one destination everyone told us to miss out… Unfortunately there wasn’t a detour and we did have to stop for the night. Luckily the highway we were on had a good shoulder and resulted in a good pace. After getting a bit lost in town we stumble across the Western Hill RV park which again had loads of stuffed animals in their lobby, but had a small camp spot and showers so we paid up and stayed the night.
Today was a long stretch of nothingness! Our end destination was Jeffery City, but there was only one stop in 60miles which was a limited petrol station (we are seriously missing Co-op’s). Here we met 3 more west bounders aiming to complete the Trans Am in just 65 days with no rest days and tree bikers that were off to a rally in South Dakota with 60,000 others Harley fans.
We called ahead to stay in the cycling specific camping which was at a pottery. The lady wasn’t going to be there but offered for us to stay in the caravan if it get windy, great we thought. When we arrived it was as though the apocalypse had happened. We headed to the pottery and poked our head in the caravan, either tourers are disgusting or a homeless person had been living in their…we opted for our tent. There was nothing but run down and abandon buildings until we saw the split rock bar. This was the small piece of hope of food and it was for filled. The lovely bar lady came out to greet us and kindly said we could camp by the side of the bar. This looked much more appealing than the other options plus there was three east bounders also camping along with the 3 west bounders we had met earlier. We headed on for food and lots of rehydrating.
A local came in to get a six pack and with him brought in this interesting critter, he stated he had been carrying it round all day since his daughter found it.
This morning we had a monster fry up in the bar to set us up for a 60mile ride with no stops. To top it off these guys were eye balling us!
The route took us though some vast open plains with ranches and cowboys including our own black beauty.
We camped in Lander city park which isn’t cycling specific its for anyone (England has a lot to learn from America in this respect at least!).
Here we met John from New York. He was hilarious and we only hope we cross path with him again on the road!!
What a great morning with perfect terrain and weather. The landscape is really starting to change.
We did 46miles and got a free place to camp, but decided to push on since we were enjoying the ride. Worst idea ever…this is what we rode into.
We ended up dodging thunder storms for 30miles. I have definitely found my fear. Metal bike+lightening=very scared Alex! When the storm started to clear you could see the layers in the mars like rock.
After an emotional afternoon and the weather getting worse we took shelter in the nearest motel. This turned out to be a awesome lodge just outside Dubois.
Today we headed to Dubois to do some typical touring chores library, post office, etc. Here we met Daniel and his hiker buds. They were hiking the contential divide which must be tough!! Daniel was a interesting experienced hiker, since he had done the AT,PT and Europe so had many stories to tell. Only wish we were on the same path, but we wished them well and were on our way.
Dubois was a cool town with beautiful wooden architecture and antler artwork.
We endeavored to push on up a 30mile stretch. This was again to another Continental Divide point at around 9000ft. We were promised a 6% downhill gradient for 17miles, more like 4 miles!! We stopped at the first campsite over the hill which was Togwotee Lodge. Option one $199 for one night in the lodge or $10 to camp in an remote, over grown, bear ridden site infested with moles. We obviously took option two. The lodge was nice enough to let us shower for $5 each though I found $5 on the floor so two for the price of one. Whilst we were eating dinner there was lots of discussion about bear safety and precautions aka bear boxes, this made me extremely anxious about camping in a nylon tent.
There luckily was other tourers and bikes that reassured us we wouldn’t get eaten by bears. Though that evening we experienced the worst thunder storms right over us sporadically throughout the night. What was worse was due to the uneven loose ground the tent wasn’t very secure. So every time the wind blew it sounded like a large animal was prowling around the tent. Overall this didn’t make for a good nights sleep or set us up well for the day to come 🙁
Magnificent day!! Huge all you can eat breakfast made up for the awful nights sleep and once on the bikes we discovered the Tetons and some mesmerising lakes.
Even though a little worn from the nights antics we enjoyed an epic day (one of the best of the trip so far), plus it was mostly downhill.
We had lunch on the shores of the idyllic Jackson Lake.
That evening we stopped in a great campsite called Flag Ranch. The guy at the main desk even gave us half price biker rates 🙂
Here I met a lovely lady from Texas called Allyanne. She was a school teacher on vacation with her family. She was definitely living the dream I can only hope one day we can raise chickens like her.
Later that evening I finally got to use my Ray Mears skills and toasted some tasty marshmallows.
The climate is very similar to back home warm in the day and freezing at night. We had a chilly lie in then set off for Yellowstone.
We were expecting lots of traffic and wildlife. We got lots of cars, little shoulder and zero animals. Though the landscape and rivers was nature at its best.
I also spotted this waterfall so went for a little hike to get a better view.
Today was due to be a rest day so we did 20 miles and stopped in Grant village, which was a camping complex. We managed to get biker/hiker rates at $6 per head and the spot was out the way in a nice a quiet site (so we thought).
We walked down to the lake for a swim though on route Andy stubbed his toe quite badly. Luckily some kind gent gave us a plaster. Option two was to relax on the shore which turned into a two hour nap.
Our tummy’s were rumbling so we wandered to the Lake house for some grub. We indulged into delicious burgers then headed back to camp for a early night. When we arrived our neighbours turned out to be lots of scouts and youth groups (reminded me of good times with my Dreamwall ladies).