The early morning sun caught our tent and quickly started to thaw the layer of frost that had formed overnight whilst we packed all of our things away. Last night was also a full moon, so whatever you do, do not stray off the path when you walk across the moors.
At Ladder Ranch breakfast is at 7.00 am and it was help yourself to coffee, eggs, sausage, french toast and hash browns. We also used up some of our cereal (breakfast is not complete without frosties), once all this was consumed we wobbled away from the table.
The thunder and lightning continued for quite a while, what we thought was very heavy rain actually turned out to be pea (marrowfat not those insignificant french petit pois) sized balls of hail. In fact another storm passed over in the early hours depositing more rain. The skies cleared after this and so the temperature dropped, our very wet tent just froze solid (not just the usual frosting).
As we had decided to stop at Ladder Ranch, where we would not be camping the tent was bundled into a bag and left until later to be sorted.
Onwards and upwards was the theme for the track ride, we were gradually gaining height but not in one go, usually a long down followed by a longer up so quite tough. The track was 15 miles long.Continue reading
We spent a little more time getting ready today, in particular cleaning the water filter as it’s flow rate had reduced a lot.
At around 8.00 we left, the road started well, a short climb up over the railway and under interstate 80 put us on the road much of today would be spent cycling on.
A day off, a nice lazy start.
The best thing about a motel is just getting out of bed and the toilet is right there no messing around, great for the weaker bladdered amongst us.
We had a walk into town getting a coffee at Huckleberrys a nice relaxed cafe.
Eventually we tracked down the supermarket, as usual it was 2 miles away, we cycled there and purchased food for four days and lots of nice stuff for now. Then it was a half mile cycle the other way to a laundry.
Finally a visit to the library where I made a copy of the 1311 photographs taken so far. I cannot wait to make friends and family sit through them all muuu ha ha (that is an evil laugh by the way)
No pictures today.
After experiencing first hand the impact wind (not due to beans) has on cycling in the Great Divide Basin an early start was needed (the wind not starting in anger until 10.00 am). In fact some cyclists rather than battle the wind chose to do this part of the ride at night!
So we woke up to it raining on the tent, the skies were grey and stormy for the first time in weeks (I can just about remember what rain is).
It was the first time in a long time that we woke to a dry and frost free tent. Definitely warmer last night, reeling from this shock we were a little later setting off.
Today we will cross the Great Divide Basin this is the worst section of our entire ride for water supply. There is no surface water for 57 miles, just sand and sage grass. We took a total of 14 litres with us so if we needed to stop halfway we had sufficient water to do so. In case you do not know, 14 litres of water has a mass of 14 Kg (or 14 bags of sugar or 14 pixies who are 1 Kg each), eeek a lot of extra to carry.
There was only a tiniest breath of a wind with just the odd stronger gust, the tracks were good. But there was an immediate stop to view some Sage Grouse (I forgot my Sage Grouse gun, they are in season now, and only shot them with the camera), the grouse are similar to our grouse but larger (typical american).
Our tractor site proved to be comfortable, a little too much road noise but no problems.
We, being hunting innocents were not aware that today was the start of the season for Antelope and Sage Grouse. The weapon of choice being a rifle (it opened 2 weeks earlier for anyone with a crossbow though). Before first light there were already 3 pickups parked up preparing their guns and stuff (not quite sure what other stuff you need, gun oil, gun polish, gun moisturiser?). There was a lot of camouflage being worn so I could only guess at how many people were there, although some wore orange (to avoid being mistaken for Antelope I believe).
These moved on and a couple of families (with 3 four year olds wearing orange vests, obviously avoiding confusion with the much smaller Sage Grouse) then arrived, they spied 6 antelope across the valley, crawled along, positioned the rifle complete with a telescopic sight (it must be what a sniper does) aimed carefully and … an almighty crack (not like the tv gunfire) and missed. The now spooked antelope ran off narrowly avoiding death.
It is not a good time of year to be cloven hoofed and a resident of Wyoming.
We finished packing up then left them to it. The initial section was on paved road, a very fast (75 mph, the passing cars not us) and 5 miles long, uphill of course so I felf unsafe along here.Continue reading
We waited until the sun came up and started to thaw the thick frost covering our tent. Whilst this was happening we packed up our things, a later start but a fully dry (and much lighter) tent.
First off I must tell you of the momentus occasion of the diary book being filled and replaced by one purchased in Yellowstone.