Dubois WY, 75 miles
As I look out the hotel room window, I see a beautiful day dawning. I have to admit. I’m a little bit reluctant to get moving. Today is going to be tough and spending the night in a hotel spoils you.
Today’s stretch is long and almost all up hill. It unsettles me a bit because there is really no respite from climbing. I’ll be going from 5,400 feet elevation up to almost 7,000 feet elevation. It’s not a straight climb, when you factor in the ups and downs the total elevation gain is around 3,800 feet. It feels like today’s stretch is going to define how the next two weeks are going to go
I made it to Dubois…
The first 45 miles was pleasant, then the wind came up. The last 30 miles was a slog. That’s my fault for getting a late start (8 AM). Anyway, here I am, and damn happy to be here. I will get an earlier start tomorrow so I can enjoy less wind in the afternoon…
The only wildlife I saw today was crickets. For about a five mile stretch of road they seemed to be all over the pavement. As you rolled along they would jump up. Quite often they would try and jump through the spokes of the wheel. A bad move on their part, very few make it through to the other side. Tomorrow I’ve been told the wildlife will be of quite a different sort. There are some bears that like to hang-out at the pass I’ll be going over. I was told by a fellow here at the church that there are signs saying “do not stop,” I don’t plan to. That said, there is more protection in a car than on a bicycle, and a lot of cars stop to gawk. A fellow here told me to put my bear spray in my water bottle holder so it will be at the ready. There is a hiker staying here tonight that saw a bear yesterday, so none of the stories I’m hearing are exaggerations.
Sometimes I break out with a smile for no reason. That’s a good day. Endorphins: breakfast, lunch and dinner of champions.
Do I ever raise my middle finger at a passing vehicle? Yes. If a luxury motorhome goes past me pulling an F150 pickup, and on the back of the F150 there is a bike rack with a road bike in it, and the motorhome refuses to give me 3 feet of room; I do have a tendency to raise my middle finger in that case.
The road becomes your best friend…