Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 17 - Dubois to Riverton, WY

Today: 79 miles, 1429 feet of climb
Cumulative: 1243 miles, 52452 feet of climb

Early morning
After a very tough Day 16, the ride was much easier today. Not that 79 miles is easy under any circumstances, but it was easier than the last two days by far. The miles flew by today with all the great scenery in front of us.

Another morning view

Great scenery this morning (but only in the background)

It was in the 40’s this morning but warmed up to 70 degrees by the time we reached the hotel in Riverton. I think the coldest weather is behind us now as we start to come down from altitude. The route was pretty simple to follow. Make a right hand turn out of the hotel on US26 for 78 miles to Riverton. Then, take a left to the hotel. The skies were sunny with a breeze that alternated between headwind and tailwind. So it didn’t help us, but didn’t hurt us either.

Wonderful colors as we ride

The first 30 miles were through a canyon with beautiful mountains on either side. At first the mountains were striated in different colors. Later, they were an interesting rusty red. It would have been great to have a geologist with us today, the colors and layers were that good. The Wind River alternated between our left and right side, running in our direction. We could hear the water rushing over the rocks as it wound its way downstream. (The Wind River is a very nice change from the Snake which we had been following towards its source for many days.) After the last few days climbing, today was mostly a gentle downhill, and the last seven miles were a good descent into town.

Yours truly

Wonderful red colors and little traffic

Crowheart Butte

The Rockies were visible to our right for most of the day. But they got smaller with each mile covered and we probably won’t see them again.

We say goodbye to The Rocky Mountains

We’re staying at a nice Comfort Inn hotel on the north side of town. My definition of “nice” now is a clean bed, good internet connection, and a bunch of electrical outlets to plug into. Other than the town of John Day, the accommodations have been pretty good every night, though the Wi-Fi connection sometimes requires us to go to the lobby or to a hotel next door, with permission.

Phillip pulls Ann into the SAG stop

Tomorrow is another tough day, 120 miles into Casper before our second off day on Friday. The first rest day in Boise seems a long time ago. I’m looking forward to the off day, though I need to do laundry, put a new back tire on my bike, and clean it well. Perhaps I might finally get a chance to go for a swim and read a few pages of my book. But first we have the ride tomorrow and the forecast calls for a small headwind. So Day 18 could be even tougher than planned. No matter, I’m very lucky to be able to do this ride, and every day brings something wonderful.

Today’s route (I stopped my Garmin at the Dairy Queen before the hotel. One has to keep their priorities in order.):

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