6/30/12. Hatchet campground to Dubois, WY – approx 50 miles
Had the best camping night to date last night as I didn’t freeze, and was actually comfortable. Randy gave me a sleeping bag liner he no longer needed because he bought a new sleeping bag in Missoula. Made a huge difference.
The ride to Dubois was to include a long steep incline ride to Togwotee Pass, elev 9658 feet. However, as we started the ride, we came upon a construction crew who told us we had to load our bikes into the back of a truck and ride over the dirt roads the first 3 miles of the climb. Can’t say we were totally disappointed, as there was plenty of climb left after.
Along the ride today, we continued to meet more and more riders coming from the east on the TRANSAMERICA , who were beginning their last month. Saw one family making the ride together. Also met 2 nice men from England. I asked about the situation in Colorado. They indicated that the smoke did bother them some. They also recounted some antidotes about riding through the winds and miles of flat roads in Kansas and Missouri, and noted that the dogs were bad in Kentucky. More to think about.
After reaching the Togwotee Summit, we had miles of fun downhill ride. No wind problems. At times, I coasted at 30 mph or more. Stopped for lunch at a nice little cafe, then finished the remaining 10 miles to Dubois, where I checked into my motel, took a shower, washed clothes, shopped for snacks for the next leg and re-grouped. The motel sat right on the banks of the Wind River, and had a beautiful deck where you could just chill out. Meanwhile, the guys camped at KOA.
Since I have to make a decision tomorrow regarding whether I will stay on the TRANSAMERICA route or deviate and go with the guys to Mt Rushmore, then Iowa for the RAGBRAI, I called Dawne in Denver. She was fully supportive of my continuing to ride with the guys because of fire, traveling companion safety, and because maybe it would be a little cooler on a more northern route. We discussed that she may drive up in a could of days and meet us along the route for a visit. I felt so relieved to have made a decision and went to the KOA to tell the guys. They seemed happy. Went back to the motel to rest up for tomorrow.
I feel sad that I won’t get to see my friends in Colorado, but can always make a trip later. I won’t have the opportunity to ride my bike across America with a group that I feel compatible and safe with, not to mention people with whom I enjoy every day. Also, the “theme” of the trip for me from the very outset has been to learn to live in the present, and making this change in plans is certainly in line with that theme.
I am meeting the guys for breakfast tomorrow morning, and we plan to ride 77 miles to Riverton, beginning the next phase of this incredible journey towards MT Rushmore. I feel happy.