As planned I woke up around 6:00. I managed to get Paul up by 6:20, and we began packing. We had prepared enough the night before, so while snacking on some pizza, which two separate people called "the breakfast of champions", we quickly broke everything down and were ready to go. After a quick bathroom break we were on the road.
We would make one stop at Fort Washakie, before a long stretch to Dubois. After Dubois we'd have a climb over Togwotee pass and would be right near the Tetons. If we could beat enough of the wind in the morning it would be doable.
Fort Washakie was 14 miles away, slightly uphill, and we made great time as our plan had worked. We stopped quickly at a general store where Paul got some cinnamon rolls, and I just filled up on tons of water. We were doing all right. But what was this we saw coming down the road? Ridiculous Wyoming wind starting around 9:30… great. Clearly Poseidon (closest reference I could think of) was not messing around today as he had turned up the dial on us. I still say we were destined to stay in Colorado.
The winds were fierce to quite fierce, and we would have to take short stops again as the wind dries the body out and drains energy at a much higher rate than normal riding. We came to a rest stop after about 20 miles that we had to stop at.
Exhausted from the battle, we hung out there for a while. We met yet more bikers, who were of course heading the other way. Good for them says Chris cursing under his breath. Once we built up the courage to face the wind again we ventured out.
We came to a general store that was roughly 10 miles down the road which we decided would be a perfect time for a break. Here we were nearly 8 weeks into the trip, and could hardly make it 10 miles without stopping. Would this wind get the best of us?
We bought a half gallon of milk and made some sandwiches, as we sat outside. The wind felt really great combined with the sun when sitting there, but it was our worst enemy in the saddle. Once we finally manned up, and headed towards Dubois with about 30 miles to go, figuring on one more stop before the end of the day.
Sure enough we stopped about 7 miles short of Dubois to rest the booties and relieve ourselves. After a few minutes we got back on to finish out the day. We had hoped to have a chance at reaching the pass as we had planned on earlier in the week, but we were unaware of the gale force impediments we would be facing that put those chances out of question.
We finished out the remainder and found ourselves a motel in Dubois , as it had been a solid 3 days without a shower, and with the pass to cover the following day we figured we'd need our best sleep.
I wish I had taken some pictures of the inside of the hotel since it was our coolest yet. There were word carvings and whatnot, and it just had the general feel of a mountainy/outdoorsy place. Pretty cool.
Of course once showered, food was the prime operative. Taking the advice of the manager, we went down the street to a place called Payas. We got a delicious Hawaiian pizza there, and headed back.
The return trip was a bit chilly we had both noticed, but no worries; we had a motel to sleep in that night. When we got inside, it took us together about 1 minute to fall asleep. The combination of the wind, and the lack of sleep the night before made quick work of the boys.
As the visions of sugarplums danced, we would be prepared to tackle the highest remaining elevation of the trip… 9658 feet. We were good at it by now; it would be cake.
Life was good.