Wild, Wild West

Fireworks in Dubois started before it got dark and lasted over an hour, followed by private fireworks long into the night.

Campground mascot

Riding out of town I trailed The Texas Oilman, who rode as if a posse were chasing him. He disappeared into the sunrise and I thought I’d never see him again. When the road turned up briefly he came back into view.

We rode out, gradually losing elevation, on pristine asphalt and pushed by a tailwind. We covered 42 miles to picnic in 2 hours. They call it “picnic” and not “lunch”, as we were eating by 9:30 today. The pavement for cars was chipseal, so we got the better of the deal this morning. Eventually we got chipseal and road debris as well.

Just out of town are beautiful red cliffs for just a few miles. See 2018 photos. I didn’t want to slow down today.

We rode past Crowheart Butte. See 2018 post for photos and an explanation of the meaning. Short version: it involves a heart impaled on a lance. And you thought tailgating after football games was wild.

After picnic the wind shifted. The wind giveth and the wind taketh away. It was 45 degrees (7 c) when the day began, with a forecast high of 95 (35 c). Finishing early was definitely on the agenda.The laundry should dry quickly.

Thursday we go back up over 9600 feet, regaining all of the elevation given up today. We’re lower tonight and it should be over 50 for sleeping (and getting up).

The Wind River valley is famous for being windy all the time. The info board at our highway rest stop was headed “Wyoming Winds”. It’s hot and sunny. Yet I didn’t see a single windmill or solar panel. I know this is coal country, but are they that wedded to coal that they’d rather buy electricity then be self-sufficient? Every ranch has its own power pole and transformer.

I saw multiple self-contained bike tourists today. They make me feel lazy, but only briefly. There is a different fun and a different freedom to carrying everything you need; but you also feel like you’re riding a pack mule.

The school wifi is down and cell service is marginal. I tried to upload a photo and the system froze. My fingers are crossed that this will upload. Surprise! I went around the corner and cell service is fine on this side of the building; and it tells me it is 94 degrees.

Riverton Middle School mural. It’s about 23 feet long.