Day 50. Shoshoi WY. | End: Crowheart WY. | Mileage 2849.7
Distances so long, the occasional billboard advertises are in increments of hours rather than miles. A psychological blow for those who cannot travel at the posted speed limit signs.
Today is day 50 of a life on the move, on the road, trying to find an interesting finish.
I woke up to the news that Dirk’s knee is starting to hurt as well; this makes one of his and both mine. Not good, for we were pushing for another century. As I open the door I find the wind to be throwing another fit. Like a giant bully with his hand on the small kid’s head, no matter how much the little kid swung, he could never make contact. I am the small kid in this story, and the bully was the wind. With its hand on our heads, we just fought all day, relentlessly. The foothills of the mountains didn’t help the situation either. We agreed that we should take the longer route to stock up on food before heading out. Trying to ignore the fact that we were heading southwest, I knew my gut instinct was right and nothing was open or existed along the way. Yesterday as we were following highway 26, I learned not to rely on these small towns for food. Hell, one town named Hiland only had a whooping population of 10. You could blink and miss this town as you passed.
Making it to Riverton, we nearly got clipped by a number of vehicles. Two lanes to work with, 45mph speed limit and no traffic in sight, yet these trucks want to pass us with only inches. Truckers are the worst, then comes the want to be nascar drivers in their steal coffins they call a car. The typical young woman on the cell phone chatting away or putting on her make-up is the third danger we encounter. The decisions these kind of drivers make are both entertaining and crazy. The number one thing I love to watch is the petroleum tanker trucks pass us on top of a steep hill, blind to oncoming traffic. As this happens, I wait for the Hollywood explosion to happen so I can take a picture with huge flames behind me.
The ride was physically draining, wind at a consistent 20+ mph with gusts that I had to lean into in order to stay upright. As I live in Florida, I am used to the winds during a hurricane. I can contest these winds remind me of those days I would venture out during a storm to catch the wind with a bed sheet, cruising down the street at Mach III on my skateboard. If only we could figure out a way to mount a sail to the bikes, we would be set.
I loved the change of scenery. Moving from the desert-like rolling hills to the valleys and meadows, I was snapping shots everywhere. We pushed on, trying to beat the sun and make it to Dubois. The wind took too much off our speed that we only managed to make it to Crowheart, 30 miles short of the century. Understanding the wind was the factor, all we could do was find shelter and not get pissed off. The cold moved in within minutes of stopping at the only store in town. We hurried to put on the only warm clothes we had, totally unprepared for this sudden change in mountain weather. As we sat on the benches out front of the watering hole, we had a good conversation with two guys pushing west in their U-Haul. Funny as hell and really enthusiastic, they helped us forget the problems we faced. As soon as they took off we ate our subway sandwiches, ones we stashed for dinner from the Riverton store and tried to find a place to sleep. Being the only other building in sight, I checked out the VFD station across the street. Looked clear, safe and away from any traffic or onlookers.
We rolled out the sleeping mats and bags under the porch, deciding no tent tonight. As the last of the light faded, I was well on my way to sleep. It was a cold, dark and quiet night, with nothing but the howling of the wind. Waking up a few times, all I can remember is squinting my eyes as the moon was so bright.