6/15 Day 29 – in which I still smile from the sun

6/15 Day 29 – in which I still smile from the sun

6-15 day 29

Dubois, WY. to Lander, WY. 78 miles

Usually I try to leave camp by 8. It usually helps me avoid the heat, get a good amount of riding in and let’s me take a break in the afternoon when it’s hot. I didn’t leave the church today until almost 11am. Why? Well why not – it was going to be all downhill today!

I made breakfast and scarfed down a dozen sausages and ate oranges and watermelon sherbet. I cleaned dishes and enjoyed fresh clothes. I stepped outside and loved the warm air and the *gasp* tailwinds! Wind at my back for a whole day! AMAZING!

The first 20 miles disappeared in a little more than an hour – amazing time and speed. I blew through small towns and burned up curves in the road. And I had to stop. I was floored by the terrain again. The painted hills had comeback. Miles of different colors ranging from deep rust red to pink, accented by the variety of greens, browns and sparkles of wildflowers color. They were joined by steep outcroppings of red rock that would have been at home in the southwest. Jutting out of the ground next to the highway I could only lament that I didn’t have climbing gear with me – they were perfect pitches.

As I neared 40 miles I noticed my ride was a little mushy. I squeezed my rear tire and found it a little flat. A mile later it was definitely losing air. I pumped it up and pushed to the rest area several miles further. In the shade and with water, I inspected my rear tire to find several small sharp stones in the tire and one large piece of glass. I removed the glass chunk, about 3-4mm triangle, from the tire and immediately heard air escaping the inner tube. Time to change it!

Back in West Yellowstone I had ended up buying a heavier duty tire because I had been worried about a situation like this. All of my gear is on the rear of my bike and even though it’s a light load by touring standards, that’s offset by the fact that I am currently not a light person. I started the trip at 220. I have not gotten on a scale yet but I suspect I haven’t lost the 40 pounds my gear and bags weigh. So I’ve had several inner tube flats from small punctures that thanks to pressure become large ones. Not a terrible thing but it’s rough on the tires. I had gotten new tires in Missoula but they were only puncture resistant and didn’t have a full “armor” belt in them. This new tire did.

I changed the tire and put a new tube in. I saved the old tire for patching later (it’s amazing what super glue and can do for a bike tire!) and pumped it up. Looking good! Martjin pulled in just as I wish finishing up and we set off for the last 30 miles. A small climb and we ended up in a great long flat stretch of road.

Martjin needed a little food break so we pulled into a store in the Wind River Indian Reservation. I got myself an ice cream bar and we were eating when a group of man setup a drum and started singing and playing. Half a dozen teens and adults sang two traditional songs whike we watched. They then packed up and moved down the road to do it again. Apparently they do this every week and hit a dozen or so locations so that no one in the community has to go far to hear them.

We ended the day at a town park. Beautiful green soft grass made my first priority taking my shoes off and laying down in it. Dinner became a delicious feast when I realized I still had a red beans and rice package. Chicken and little extra hot sauce made it better and I got to watch 7 innings of pickup baseball get played in the field next to me.

In the next few days I’ll be moving from Wyoming to Colorado and I’m excited. As part of that I’m going to take a little detour to Ft. Collins and see two friends who I hiked the Appalachian Trail with in 2013. The exact route is something I’m still working on as there are several options but I can’t wait to see Dangerpants and Six!

3 Replies to “6/15 Day 29 – in which I still smile from the sun”

  1. Didn’t realize one could have a heavy-duty tire with a tough inner core. Good move to have picked that up. Love the pics of the painted hills. Fun fact: Wind River Indian Reservation is the seventh-largest Indian reservation by area in the United States. In 2016, the first bison since 1885 appeared on the reservation.

  2. Well you have inspired me to do our local bike challenge. The Saratoga Battlefield has a 100 mile challenge for the summer. Each loop around is 10.5 miles. Not at a 100 yet but working on it going forward. Keep the pictures coming!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *