Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
It was dark when I pedaled into Medicine Bow. When I was passing the Virginian hotel/ bar when this woman yells out "wow, you gotta let me ride that thing". I said "OK" So this really drunk, short woman rode off on my bike. When she came weaving back, Blake was walking up and she asked him if he wanted to ride it but he said "No, I stick to ridin horses".
We started talking and sure enough Him and his partner Adam were riding horses cross country. They shared there hotel room with me and in the morning over coffee we talked about car free societies, just horses and bikes, it could work? They have 7 horses, 3 for packing gear and the other 4 they rotate riding. They started out in Colorado and are heading now for Montana. These were, hands down, the nicest Cowboys I'v ever met! The best of green pastures to you guys.
My luck with the weather held. The track stayed solid and I had the breeze at my back.
Out there to be found is a sweet, soft spoken solitude that is a bit hard to find in the world these days. The territorial immencity was incredible and a feeling of settling traquility seemed to blow in the wind.
It was a rough afternoon and I was dragging. I just kept thinking of setting up my hammock for a nap. It was hot and the miles of washboarded dirt road were grinding on my nerves.
I rolled into Atlantic city WY (population 57) The market/cafe had picnic tables out front and seated at one of them was Greg Hansen. Greg had hiked the Appalachian trail in 1978 but not hiked much since. This summer he decided to hike across Wyoming along the continental divide.
He was drinking cold Coors and still rocking his original gear from the 70's when I walked up. We ended up sipping beer, having some great conversations and hanging out for hours. He was funny as hell and made me wish that I could even come close to being such a charater at 53.
When I rode on I was half drunk, chatting up the passing cows and smiling at my desolate surroundings. (Dont worry Greg I still have the oatmeal packet with your adress on it and will stop by if I'm ever in Nebraska)
On the other side of the Togwotee pass Dave and Jo-An have a great "cyclist only" hostel called: The Aspen meadow bike hostel. These two are such nice people and for the small amount that they ask you really do get the whole 9 1/2 yards. (dinner, breakfast, excellent thick, strong coffee and a cot in a warm, dry lodge) I broke my own rule of not paying for lodging and really enjoyed my stay. Its super great a place like theirs exists for the long distance cycling comunity!
I set up camp on the edge of Yellowstone at a beautiful spot on Grassy lake. The swarms of mosqitos had chased me into my tent. I was lying back watching Loons divebomb after fish and chipmunks scurry around, When suddenly this big ass truck comes roaring down into my campspot. The dude drives up practically on top of me and yells "You seen any wildlife?" "Were looking for Wildlife" I look up at him and irritatedly just say "No"; too stunned by his retardedness to say anything more. Then he backs up and drivews away. Yep, unfortunatly these kind of people are alive, well and flock to Yellowstone.
Rob Leipheimer (levi the pro cyclist's brother) owns a bike shop in Butte and is seriously a very nice guy. He opened up his shop to me to do any repairs and cleaning I needed to do. But best yet I was able to catch up on The Tour de France in grand big screen style. I stayed in Butte a few days running errands but mostly hanging around watching Tour highlites.
About 10 miles south of Butte I met Tyler. He was also heading south on the Divide Route. He is from Canada and also heading into Latin America. We pedaled over the Fleecer pass together. A part of the route that is notoriously steep and rough. At one point on the decent it was such a steep rock garden that I had to run along side my bike through the brush, skidding and sliding trying to stay upright. Tyler comes down after me winded and says "Well, that was a real shit show". Indeed it was and I'd gladly do it again. We rode together for another bit through Montana's back country. Late one afternoon, He peeled off to take a nap, Said he'd catch up to me later. I havn't him since, I hope he didn't get eatin.