After the chi-chi cool hostel we stayed in for two days in Breckenridge, we are now in the wild west of Wyoming. Everything is spread out and the scale expands dramatically as we traverse the Great Basin and join the iconic “Oregon Trail”. An estimated half million people passed this way in the mid-1800’s in search of a better life in the west: Oregon, California, Utah. Wyoming greeted us with strong cold headwinds and by mid day eight of us were sheltered in a giant hay carport with rain spitting and horribly dark skies ahead. Marie was out on the road somewhere ahead, she’d left camp early. No cell service in the Wild West.
In the end, four decided to cycle the remaining twenty five miles, four “hired” the ranch manager to hitch up a horse trailer for the bikes and drive us to our destination, and Marie jumped onboard the shuttle when it caught up with her. I was in the shuttle of course.
The natural wonder of Wyoming comes as a surprise. It would be too expansive to see well by hiking, but cycling is just the right speed. The foothills that you see on the horizon become the hills you are riding in two hours later, and the beautiful river splayed out in the valley below becomes the river you’re riding next to after fifteen minutes of downhill. The town of Jeffrey City is the story of a uranium boom town that went bust after Three Mile Island and now is like a ghost town with this free Baptist Community Church Hostel where we stayed.
The winds have been strong and when they blow as a crosswind they are downright scary. We have all been blown right off the pavement…multiple times. It’s difficult to navigate within a five foot wide shoulder!