A beautiful morning for what we thought would be a pretty easy 80 mile day. The sun was out, the sky was blue, temperatures in the mid fifties when we left about 8:00 AM. The town was quiet (I guess the square dance last night tired the natives). We headed slightly downhill through gorgeous ranches, rocks and canyons. The quick changes in topography are quite amazing. We stopped to take many many photos. I hope I can share as my internet service seems much better tonight. We hit the first SAG stop at mile 30 happy as clams … only 50 miles to go … when we got back on the bikes, there was a gentle uphill BUT the headwinds had started … the 25 miles to the next SAG stop seemed endless … the sun was hot and the pedalling endless.
We saw a fair amount of roadkill, cattle and horses, but we also saw a large deer run down one side of the road in front of us, cross the road, try to join some grazing cattle and then continue his run past us. Large and graceful and I sure am glad he did not want to run back across the road. It was a small diversion from the “easy ride” we were waiting for the end.
We stopped for the “lunch” SAG at mile 55 and were grateful for the shade, the snacks, and the ice in our water bottles. The road continued warm with front/side winds but there was a haze over the landscape and we could smell smoke. We never saw anything and rode into clear sky maybe 12 or 13 miles down the road. Our water bottle ice was melted before 10 miles, and with 15 miles to go we found a van who re-iced us, got back on our bikes … and lo and behold…the wind was at our back! Even better, the last 8 miles were downhill. Yeah!
The main part of Riverton (population 10,00+) seemed very empty as we cruised down the last hill. We had to take a left at the far end of town and then bike a mile to our hotel. We came to that intersection … and there were all the people, McDonald’s, K-MArt, DQ, Wendy’s and Wal-Mart! We decided to swing into the Wal-Mart before checking in to the hotel since it was on our way. We needed to restock sunscreen, ibuprofen and get stronger reading glasses. We must have been stopped by at least 6 people in Wal-Mart asking about the bike group (today was jersey day) … how was the smoke on the road … where did we come from .. etc etc. I think people would have chatted all afternoon if we let them (ohhhh…air conditioning). Did I say the thermometer read 98 degrees as we rode into town. But we did it and had to get our room, get our recovery drink, do our stretching and shower up for supper. All in a days work. We have a big day tomorrow, 120 miles … we may start with a side wind that will turn into a headwind and gradually increase as the day goes on ..oh … chance of thunder showers and hail. Guess what? Bob and I are opting for the early luggage load at 5:15 (which means a 4:30 wake-up call) and will leave immediately after breakfast at 5:30. It is supposed to be in the 50’s in the AM and Casper, our destination is only supposed to be in the upper 80’s. So hopefully we will get our ride in uneventfully and enjoy our well-earned day off in Casper, Wyoming. Go figure!