Tuesday, July 05, 2005

June 27th Rawlins, WY 1800 or so

Son of a gun we'll have big fun in......Wyoming? Greetings all. Despite a constant wind that seems to be coming from every direction and always in my face I've managed to make amazing time throught the majority of Wyoming. So grab a sassafras tea, and cowboy up with me for a spell.
The past few days have been incredible. When I last left you I was at the edge of Yellowstone NP, ready to set out for the next leg. A lot has happened as always. It's good to know as I sit here and smell myself that some things will probably never change on this trip.
Unfortunately shortly after I left you last a huge storm came through that effectively grounded me in WEst Yellowstone for the night. Yellowstone is a big tourist draw and being as such a very expensive place to be around. $20 to set up a tent, no shower included!!! HA HA, I got the best of them and found a nice dry spot to sleep free of charge. Right outside the mens room in the public park. With the wind it was the only spot sheltered from the rain. Doing pretty well for myself out here eh? Hey every bit that isn't spent on overpriced camping goes to the "feed Mac" fund. Food comes first. Always!! I awoke the next day to a solid fog, and wonderful cool temperatures. Soon after entering the park, and my fourth state the fog lifted and I had the most amazing day. Elk, Eagles, geysers, and lots of RV's. woo hoo. Love those recreational vehicles. I spent more time off the bike than on that day and had an amazing time exploring the park.
As I have said before and I will say again, luck really seems to be with me on this trip. As I dropped out of the park towards Grand Teton NP, I narrowly avioded a real shellacing by a huge storm by ducking into a resort for a frosty beverage. From there I took some good advice from Andrew (bike guide back in OR. there will be a test so pay attention), and located some beautiful hot springs to camp beside. I had the greatest sunset yet that night. Beautiful vibrant oranges and pinks reflected off the clearing thunderheads as I sat in a meadow where the steam from the springs was drifting all around. These are the moments folks. I'm not a poet and not a photographer, so I'll never be able to describe these moments with any justice. A wonderful few hours.
The next day I got off to a very lazy start and hardly made 16 miles before 4pm. The Tetons have got to be on of the most incredible mountain ranges anywhere. My entire morning and afternoon was spent hiking around looking for that perfect shot and just relaxing. Had a great swim in an ice cold lake, and thoroughly enjoyed doing absolutely nothing. When I finally was able to pull myself away, the real work was about to begin, or so I thought.
Towgadee pass, 9,650 feet of pure muscle, 3,000 of which I would be climbing. I thought I was done for. For you emotional types don't despair just yet, remember luck is with us, and when it's not we make our own. The huge storms that had been menacing me for days came up huge here. As thunderheads built all around me an enormous wind began to blow. Do I need to tell you which way? Uphill of course. Made the 10 mile climb to the plateau like I was on an escalator. The top was without a doubt the most beautiful section of the ride yet. Above 9,000 ft the air was cool, and the lack of human noise was absolute. The peaks around me were like something out of a childs favorite fairy tale. Huge sheer walls of granite, topped with spires and turrets, all still covered in snow. Unlike other peaks, these were very geometrical, some stacked like bricks. As I crested the last incline the sun was just setting behind me and the air had a very soft quality too it. Clouds began to change colors and the vista was ever changing. The ride down the back was beautiful. From that high I could see ranges for miles and miles all lit up with the colors of the setting sun. The whole world opened up in front of me and I couldn't help but think that it was a good metaphor for my life lately. One of the best springs I have ever had ahas blended seamlessly into a summer I will never forget. It's all out there, and I'm loving it.
Had a rough nights sleep that night after I woke to a terriple yapping and barking, then something four legged and moving fast running past my tent at about 1 in the morning. Close, way too close. Probably a coyote, maybe a wolf, scary either way out in the sticks.
The past few days have been a bit different. After dropping off the back side of the pass the next day I quickly descended into a very hot and very boring section of desert. These days water is consumed a quart at a time, and at least 3 gallons a day. The air is sooo dry and the wind blows constantly. Sometimes ahead, and if your lucky sometimes behind. If you're unlucky, straight from the side like it was two nights ago. I was nearly blown over multiple times in the 60 mph gusts. It's crazy. Why people want to live out ehre is beyond me. Despite the wind, and sometimes because of it I have been making great time. I've strung together a few 90+ mile days and it looks like I'll be in CO tomorrow afternoon. I met a great guy Ryan who lives near Breckenridge who I'm going to try and visit on my way through. He's a guide at a local kids camp and a man of similar tastes.
As always I feel great!!! I'm finding gears I never knew I had and look forward to each day immensely. It's hard to put the feelings I have into words. Somtimes entire days go by without uttering a single word aloud. I enjoy the quiet. I try not too, but thoughts of the end are already coming to my mind. It's all moving so fast. I want to take a minute to thank everyone who has helped thus far. All the donors, my family and friends, and anyone along the way who has given their prayers, a friendly honk and a wave, and their support. I'm afraid that in the end I'm going to get more out of this than I could ever give, but I hope that maybe this ride will inspire someone else to get out and do the same. It's only a drop in the bucket for a hospital the size of Brenners, but I hope it will help. Thanks to everyone, now lets get the heck out of this desert and into some mountains. tally ho pardners!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Baby Jack sends you best wishes for continued success on the journey. Keep up the good work. Hope to talk to you soon.

Cousin "FiFi"

8:39 AM  

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