Day 49. Casper WY. | End: Shoshoni WY. | Mileage 2779.7
The mornings seem to just come earlier and earlier. What used to be 7am turned into 6:30 and now 5:15am. We had to span a large gap today, one that we were warned about and took precautions. Another 100+ mile day, except nothing in between the beginning and end. Packing extra drinks and relying on reserve food, we made the hop.
The terrain along this valley is a hot desolate landscape. Rolling hills that stretch beyond the horizon and plains that allowed the wind to gain speed. The mountains to the north and south would funnel this wind and whip it in all directions, giving us a constant unpredictable headwind. Since the wind was so bad, drafting was out of the question for safety’s sake. I know I don’t need to crash into Dirk again. The morning was cold and with the help of an overcast sky, we made good time. We took a little extra time finding our route though, due to the interstate dumping the exit a mile out of our way. Following highway 26, we quickly saw how grand and vast this gap was. Looking right and left, nothing but grass and a few horses. I had a good time counting all the antelope and deer I saw, a game I play to stay awake while driving at night back home. About half way through, we would come up to one of the ghost towns. What seemed to be an abandoned series of houses and shops, we began to lose hope until seeing a run down station. With out cash and Dirk walking out with a hand full of goodies, he spots me a few bucks and we hurry out of there. As we exit, we joke and look back at what we thought was the perfect site to shoot a horror flick. Cars, trucks, buses and an untold amount of scrap everything covered the town, all so nicely hidden from the road by a hill. I said those were the vehicles of the victims and since we were on bikes… we were safe, that or he felt we were going threw hell already. We made our way to the rest stop just three miles ahead and camped out by a table. We whipped up some food and agreed a nap was in the schedule. As I am lying against a wall, sleeping and quite comfy, something fluffy and soft was trying to cuddle with me. I jumped up from my nap at the speed of light to find a prairie dog running away. I laughed and couldn’t believe it. I guess with my beard so fluffy and long, I looked part of the wild.
As we booked it down the road, we ran straight into a lightning storm. In the middle of the plains there was nowhere to go, so we ditched the bikes and sat in a ditch. As the lightning struck wildly around us, we made our selves as short as possible and watched the rain fall around us. Such a nerve wreaking situation, but as I spotted a gap in the clouds, we made a run for it. Rolling into town, the mountains grew above the horizon. The beauty of the land so great, I cannot put it into words. I struggled into town, the last few miles along the wind was just relentless. We are now over a mile above sea level and the difference of breath is becoming noticeable.