I again arose before Paul to the sounds of humorous honking truck drivers, and did some more blog work. Paul got up around 8:00 and we quickly packed up and left towards the gas station. We arrived around 8:45 and were happy to see quite a bit of food. The sign out front said they were open until 10:00 each night, so we could have easily made it the night before. Oh well.
Paul ate a lot as well, but I put down a big thing of banana bread, a muffin, Snickers, 3 nutri grain bars, and a banana. They actually had internet at this place too! In the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, I was online. Nice. Since I had caught up on a bunch of blogs, and wasn't sure when I would be back online again, I spent a lot of time there uploading photos and scheduling blog postings. I was also able to charge my camera battery and two cell phone batteries. By the time I was done with all my stuff, we had been there for nearly four hours! Damn, it was time to hit the road.
We had made it a few miles into the trip before the wind picked up something fierce. Our first stop was in Jeffrey City, at a little diner. Again, it was a very weird place, but they were open and serving inexpensive food.
There was a female cycling tourer there when we arrived talking to people about her amazing feats after having gone around 1000 miles. We laughed under our breath, but let her have her moment… I was getting really sick of talking about myself (yes, there is a certain point). Since Rawlins, we had been on the traditional trans-america tour that many cyclists take starting in Estoria, Oregon ending in Virginia, and she was the first we had run into. I hoped she was okay, as I am a lot bigger (get it?). We chatted with her for a bit, and headed back into the wind.
Shortly after we were on the road, we ran into another cyclist who was actually with the woman, Julie we had just spoken to at the restaurant. We exchanged good lucks and kept on going. A few more miles down, we met up with two male cyclists who were brothers, one was carrying his dog in tow. How awesome! They were also doing the trans-am, and as we were talking to them for a bit, here come two more female cyclists. They had started separately, but had met up with the guys we were talking to on the way. I guess the trans-am route is a popular one. All were going west to east, and we were super jealous this particular day due to the intense wind.
After the nice little stops meeting with bikers, we made it through the grueling wind to a rest stop. There was no food there, a bit upsetting, but of course plenty of water. We hung around for a while, and tried to wait out the wind a bit, as we had seen some sort of pattern where it died down in the evening.
Getting ready to leave, we noticed a young woman pull in with a horse. She opened some sort of trailer and out came 5 puppies and their mother. We had to go over and pet them, they were really adorable. She explained to us about the winds of Wyoming… they don't stop. She did mention we were especially better off early in the morning as it was usually the calmest then. Thanks.
We took off from there around 7:00, with 40 miles to go. We had planned on riding into a bit of darkness, but we would have a nice shoulder the whole way and very light traffic. The wind slowly and continually diminished as our trip continued on. Before we got into town, we hit pockets of very cold air which seemed to be near little valleys of the mountains. We would roll through them, and it had to drop 15 degrees, and then roll right out seconds later. Odd.
We got into Lander right around 10:00 as we had planned, equipped with feverish appetites, and in need of a place to stay. Lander had stoplights! We had gotten back to somewhat of a town. Stopping at the first gas station, we asked what was open for food. A grocer and dominoes were basically our only choices. We got to dominoes first, but it was delivery only at the time. There phone number was on the outside of the store, but no area code. Ugh.
Next stop was Safeway grocer. When we rolled into the parking lot I hit a bump that knocked my cell phone out of my front pouch. Of course it tumbled forward directly under my tire, causing me to scratch the sh-t out of it, and fall in the process. Fortunately, I had spectators as well, as someone was walking by across the street and asked if I was okay. I was pretty frustrated, but for some reason, it brought great joy to Paul.
After that incident, we bought some really hearty bread and some bars to be better prepared for some more desolate stretches through Wyoming. We were also able to get their area code, and we ordered two large pizzas from Dominoes.
We ate them outside of Dominoes, with a big two liter bottle of Barq's Root Beer. Did we finish it all? Not even close; we hardly finished one. We were stuffed, and had nearly an entire pizza to save. I packed it on the back of the bike, and we headed toward the city park. The brother bikers we had met earlier that day had told us about free camping at the park, because there was some rock climbing festival going on that weekend.
We made our way to the park, and found ourselves a nice spot to sleep on some fluffy grass. It was our best camping spot in a while. We tried to go to bed as soon as possible as we were getting up at 6:00 to try to beat the brutal wind we had faced that day. Well fed, with a comfortable spot to sleep, we would be ready for the next day that would take us over our highest elevation remaining in the trip, Togwotee Pass at 9658 feet.
Life was good.