Friday, July 30, 2010

Bye, Kansas

So it's been an eventful few days since my last post. I stayed in Great Bend on Monday, July 26 so I could get a new tire. When I got to the Golden Belt Bicycle Shop, he did not have any tires in my size (26x1.5). About 5 minutes behind me, another customer asked for the same tire size. The owner was a little embarrassed. He said that he sells about 4 a year and here he had two requests on the same day. He did adjust my rear derailleur that was acting a little slow on the downshifts.
Well, no biggie. I rode on because I was confident I could get two days of riding out of the tire. Off of HWY 156, I stopped by an education center for the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Refuge and learned a lot about migrating birds. Jumped on HWY 4 and had a very nice, if not hot ride through corn and hay fields and tiny little towns. I did find two great towns on Tuesday-- Marquette (pop ~682), with it's fun downtown and home of the Kansas Motorcycle Museum and Lindsborg (pop 3,300), nicknamed little Sweden it had a brick lined streets, a definite Scandinavian flair and is home of the Bethany College Swedes. Lindsborg is where I camped for the night.
Monkeys at Library
On Wednesday, I had a goal of 115 miles to Harveyville where my friend and North Henderson Art teacher Liz Runkle (and the creator of Baron and Cliff) was doing an art residency. I was riding by 6:00AM and doing great. Took a little break for breakfast in Gypsum. Made it to Hope, where a guy named Holly, feeling bad for me in the heat, bought my slushy. The day was going great-- I was making awesome time, my legs felt fresh and I got a free slushy!
Hope, Kansas
From Hope, it's 8 miles to Herington. Halfway there, I heard a hiss as the air emptied out of my rear tire. In the hot sun, on the side of the road, I fixed the flat. But I was screwed. I didn't carry an extra tire, just tubes and patch kit. As I examined the tire, I saw the cause of the flat-- I had actually worn a hole through the tire. I used some duct tape to try to protect the tube and rode to Herington. Things seemed well until I heard a loud pop. The tire did not make it. No sense in trying to repair it, it would just flat again and I had over 50 miles left to go.

So I call Liz, who drives to Herington and we creatively fit Bella, BOB and everything else in the tiny Toyota Yaris. We go back to Harveyville and Liz shows me the set up. It's an old school that was converted into a sort of refuge for artists to come and work. Liz was housed in an old science room and I got sleep in a history room. Nicole cooked us dinner. It was great, just really hot and humid. We even found a room that had a scale model of Harveyville. What do you do with that? Well, have sock monkeys attack, of course!
Attacking Monkeys
Thursday Liz and I rode up to Topeka. We got a new tire for Heang, Liz got paper to work on her prints and we picked up weedeater string for Nicole. Being enticed by air conditioning, we made the decision to watch Inception. I thought it was a really good movie. After wasting more time in A/C in Barnes and Noble, we headed back to Harveyville for dinner.

Today was a pretty good day. I covered 111 miles. Had nice legs and no wind. Breakfast in Burlingame was nice. Baldwin City was a good break from the sun and I had a gyro. I got lots of little breaks just to cool off. Once I got into Olathe and the Kansas City suburbs, things got more difficult. I had to dodge traffic, re-route because of construction and put up with urban drivers. I can't remember anyone shouting anything at me on the entire trip. In a 15 mile span, there were about 6. All teens trying to be smart and who thought they were hilarious. I rallied my way to Lee's Summit, Missouri and found a hotel since there were no campgrounds nearby. I asked if they had a special rate for someone riding across the country and the guy says sure. I got a good deal.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friends on the Road

My wonderful friends and co-workers, Audra and Dylan King, stopped by to see me today. They have been on the road since the second week of June touring National Parks, visiting family and attending weddings with their camper and two dogs. They just left Ft. Collins and are heading home and got off the direct route just long enough to find me on Route 96.
Audra and Dylan will be home tomorrow. I'll be home in three or four weeks. Look at the dogs in the picture, all they want to do is eat Baron and Cliff.

Elaine and Dan

I am one of those who never knew their grandparents. Every once and a while, I meet people who I think, "You'd be wonderful grandparents, will you adopt me?" Meet Elaine and Dan.
Elaine and Dan
Elaine runs a little bed and breakfast on Route 96 in tiny Bazine, Kansas called the Bicycle Oasis. They set it up about 8 years ago because so many cyclist passed by on the Transamerica looking weary and tired. Neither are cyclists, they are just lovers of people. For ten bucks, you can camp in their yard, fifteen lets you sleep on the screen porch and thirty gives you a bedroom. I camped outside but still got to use the kitchen, living room and bath. And Elaine will cook you breakfast in the morning.
Elaines Oasis
The greatest thing about Elaine and Dan is that you are not just a customer. From the moment you are arrive, you feel like family. They have such a tender spirit and, remember, they welcome you into their home. When I was recommended the hostel, I was told that they were taken to Elaine's brother for dinner. When we were there, Dan invited us to a potluck and pool party at the home of one of their church members. So we went and had a nice dinner and met some great Kansans. Talked a long time to Terry, a farmer and former teacher who has the distinction of being the only teacher I know who used to commute to work by airplane. Also the only teacher I know who has an airplane parked in the backyard.
Dan cuts hay for a living. And he raises some cows. He showed us how his bale lifter worked and let me turn on his tractor (brand new-- $84,000, which is cheap compared to some). Dan also took me to "walk" his four hunting dogs. It involved a command that got all the dogs in the back of the pickup. Bear, the black lab, is too old to get up by himself, so Dan has to help him. But ask Dan about Bear and he gets really soft: "Best hunting dog ever. He's made some amazing retrieves." We drove about a mile down a dirt road, turned down another road and with another command the dogs jump out and run up the road. That's their exercise and they love it! We follow, turn the truck around, stop at the end and call the dogs back. And that's how the dogs are walked.
Dan's Tractor
The Bale Lifter
Elaine's Bicycle Oasis was supposed to be just a place to rest and shower. It ended up being one of the highlights of the entire trip thanks to Elaine and Dan and their love and generosity. I also enjoyed my traveling companions: Clyde, Joelle and Ken. We had seen each other off and on for the last two days and ended up at Elaine and Dan's together.
Ken, Clyde and Joelle
Bella with Elaine and Dan

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Into the Plains

At last, I've entered Kansas. It's been three days of riding since I left Colorado Springs on Thursday and I've covered a 260 miles, two states and two timezones. Here's the recap:

Thursday, July 22-
I got a late start because Carter's little bed was so comfy and I was getting spoiled. In the end, I guess it all worked out. Wendi made pancakes for breakfast and packed me muffins for the road. And I would need them as I put in what would be my longest day ever in the saddle-- 125 miles! Needless to say, it was a long day.

The first 25 miles or so were hard. I was regretting the late start as the heat was pretty intense. Also, there were several pretty big climbs out of Colorado Springs. But I stopped for lunch in little Ellicott, CO and that was a nice break.
Looking back to Colorado Springs

Back on the road things were going pretty good until I saw the storm ahead. I was riding right into it. It started to drizzle slightly on me, but it was the lightning in front of me that really had me worried. Fortunately, I arrived in Rush, CO (only about 15 miles from Ellicott), where I pulled Bella under an awning and went inside a little restaurant and had pie, ice cream and read the book Mr. Drake gave me as I waited on the storm to pass.
Riding into the rain

After about 30 or 40 minutes, I decided to chance it. The storm had moved but the skies were brewing. I actually rode the next 60 miles in between storms. I could see the one in front of me getting away, but whenever I looked back I could see another following me right up the highway. I never did get rained on. Even better, the clouds kept the sun off me. I think if it were sunny, I would have never made it to Kit Carson.

I kept looking for places to pull over and camp. It was hard, because I do want to sort of conceal myself a little and in the prairie there are very few places where you can pull that off. By the time I made it to US 40, I made the decision just to push to Kit Carson. It was 21 miles, but fortunately downhill with a tailwind.

When I arrived in Kit Carson, it was dark and raining. I stopped into a roadside diner and ate a big dinner. It wasn't special, but for about $10.00, including tip, I was full. I was sitting outside waiting for the rain to die down to make my move. I didn't want to set up a tent in the rain. A gentleman starts talking to me. Nice guy, he's on the school board. They serve 93 students. I tell him there are semester that I have over 93 students. Their senior class is usually 2-3 students per year, some years they have as many as 5, a few years 1, but they've never had a class of zero.

He tells me I can camp in the city park. The bathrooms are never locked and there's a pavilion. Bingo for me. I get there and am surprised, this park cannot be more than 2 or 3 years old (or it's very well kept). Nice facilities, but most importantly, a shelter so I don't have to set up my tent in the rain.
Camping in Kit Carson

Friday, July 23-
I was up early to beat the heat. Easy ride south to Eads and then I turned east towards home. Route 96 is back on the Transamerica and I ran into my first biker in Eads. I tried to talk a little as we rode, but he was a lot slower so I moved on. Rode past the site of the infamous Sand Creek Massacre-- one of many sad moments in our history with the Indians. Stopped for a long break from the hot sun in Sheridan Lake's gas station/sub shop.

Made it into Kansas to the town of Tribune. Tribune is a neat little community in the prairie. When you ride through Main Street, it's piping country music through the speakers. I'm no country music fan, but this was very appropriate and perfect. Tribune is in Greeley County, named after Horace Greeley, who wrote for the New York Tribune (hence the town name) and advocated, among other things, that Kansas be a free state. Greeley County only has two towns, Tribune and the nearby and smaller, Horace.

Here's the Greeley County Fairgrounds. Someday, I'm gonna visit one of these little county fairs out here in the midwest.
Greeley Fairgrounds

In the park in Tribune were several other bikers. One going to Arizona, a husband and wife doing the Tranamerica west to east and another group of three doing the same route. The city left the pool house unlocked so we could shower and use the bathrooms. We parked our bikes in the pavilion in case it stormed. In the morning, when I woke up at 6:30, all the bikers were gone. Talk about early risers!
Bike Parking
Saturday, June 24-
I had an awesome ride from Tribune to Leoti. Then after leaving Leoti, I ran into a headwind. My pace slowed considerably. My goal was a little town called Dighton, but I fell short and stopped in Scott City. I was tired from the wind and the last two days.

Actually, I was undecided if I were to stay or move on. I was riding down the street looking for a place to get a late lunch when a guy in an SUV asks if I was going to stay in town for the night. I say maybe. He tells me there's a biker's hostel just half a block, he'll show me. His name is Bill and he runs the Athletic Club, which doubles as a hostel. Not a true hostel. There are gymnastics equipment, lockers, showers, an Olympic pool, but no beds. Bikers just roll out their sleeping bags and sleep. It's not a bad deal, I'm staying here with two guys from Jersey and another couple from New England. I got out of the sun, explored the town, took an afternoon nap, and had a nice dinner with Andrew and Brian (the Jersey boys).

And how can you not sleep well with this in your room?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Kirkpatricks

Ryan Kirkpatrick is one of my oldest and best friends. We first met in the 9th grade and have remained friends ever since. Even though he's a Clemson fan and he lives all the way in Colorado, we still remain good friends. He is married to the lovely Wendi Drake Kirkpatrick (whose parents I got to hang out with in Laramie) and have two children, Carter and Walker (and Finnegan the crazy lab who writes their Christmas cards).
In between Ft. Collins and Boulder is a little town called Berthoud. I rode by it a few days ago. Ten years ago, Ryan had to come find me in the middle of the night as my car broke down there while I was on my way to Boulder. It was a cross country trip in my 1988 Honda Prelude and Ryan was in Boulder doing some altitude training. This was before cell phones, so how he ever found me is still sort of a miracle.

Anyway, the car ended up having to get junked in Colorado. I remember getting $50.00 for it. We took my mountain bike off and the roof rack (I still have and use both) and shipped them home. I was on my way east when I was in Colorado and had budgeted just enough money to get back. After shipping all that stuff, I didn't have enough to get home. Ryan not only drove me around for a few days to settle the car and get stuff shipped, he ended up buying my Greyhound ticket to North Carolina. It was right before the start of my teaching career, so guess what my first purchase was as a teacher? On a side note, if you have never taken Greyhound across the country, you should just for the experience.

This trip to Colorado has been much less involved. Very low key and I did not have to sell my vehicular transportation. It's mostly been playing with the kids, running some errands and enjoying the company of friends. We went to teeball practice, the zoo and a concert at Hillside. We also celebrated Wendi's birthday yesterday and I met some of their nice friends like Shawn and Megan. I got attacked, woken up and licked by Finnegan. I was reunited with my lost sock monkey friend Baron and met his cousin and our new travelling companion, Cliff. All in all, a great visit.
Too Fun
Nice eyes
I hope everyone has friends that are as loyal, kind and enjoyable as the Kirkpatricks. I really hate leaving here because I enjoy the time I get to spend with Ryan and Wendi, Walker and I became fast friends and I have fun chasing Carter around and deciphering his three year old talk. Thanks for the visit and the opportunity to rest my legs; I'll see you guys in Hendersonville over Christmas break.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ft Collins

After leaving the Drakes in Laramie, I rode south towards Ft Collins. It's about a 70 mile drive on HWY 287. My friend, Steve Carpenter, moved to Ft Collins a few years back after a very successful stint as the boy's cross country and track coach at TC Roberson. Several State Championships made their way to Arden under Steve's tutelage.

Steve got off work early and rode up the road to meet me. Steve is crazy about cycling. Already this summer, he has done the Bike Tour of Colorado and the Triple Bypass (which involves climbing up and over 3 huge Colorado mountain passes) and is planning a century in Boulder this coming weekend. We met about 14 miles outside of Ft Collins and he led me in. It was nice getting to draft off the back of his wheel. Normally, I'd feel bad for not taking a pull, but that day I had no shame as Steve led me all the way to his home.

Ft Collins is a great town. College town as it's the home of Colorado State University. I hadn't been here in about 9 years, so it was nice to be back. It's got a great network of bike paths and nearly every street is equipped with a bike lane and they were all being used. It's something that the south is truly behind in. It was blazing hot the entire time I was there.

Saturday, we made it to New Belgium and toured the facilities. I've long been a Fat Tire fan, so it was neat to get to see the place it was born. New Belgium is a great company. They produce a lot of their own energy, have installed artistic bike racks throughout Ft Collins and every employee that works there a year gets a free cruiser bike. The tour was fun-- just like everything about the company.
New Belgium Trike
Bike/Frisbee/Fat Tire
Made it over to O'Dell's, a new brewery right near New Belgium. Sampled some good stuff there too. Didn't tour the facility though. The afternoon involved naps and cooking out. It was a nice day off the bike.

Sunday we got up early and headed to Estes Park and hiked up to the top of the Twin Sisters. It was about 7.5 miles roundtrip and over 3,000 vertical feet. The summit offered spectacular views of the valley and gorgeous shots of Long's Peak. It's the way Colorado should be seen.

Thanks a bunch to Steve and Kelly for hosting me for a few nights. I needed the rest and it was fun to be in a great town like Ft Collins and with super people.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hanging with the Drakes

I left Casper on Wednesday morning, looking forward to a nice little ride along through the Shirley Basin. For a while, it was great. At about mile 35, I ran into construction. They gave me a ride in a pilot truck that knocked about 12 miles off the ride and also took away my biggest climb of the day. I really appreciated that.
After being dropped off, I had a little lunch I packed and then got to riding. The wind had picked up and the terrain was very hilly. Riding got hard. Very hard. Then I noticed the rear flat. Shoot! I patched the flat (though no especially well) and pulled out two small pieces of wire that caused the puncture. The rest of the ride was fighting wind and sun.
Wind Farm

I was pretty exhausted when I got to Medicine Bow. I went into Dips and had cold cokes and a milkshake. It's a place I recommend if you are ever in Medicine Bow. The owner, Bill Bennett, who still works there everyday, has his mark all over the place. He has hand painted the ceiling and floor and all the tables. His trademark is woodcarving and all around are these gorgeous and intricate woodcarvings depicting scenes of the American West. I didn't snap photos inside, so you'll have to go take a look.

While I was sitting there trying to motivate myself to go to the Virginian (a cool and historic hotel based on Owen Wister's novel), I get a call from Al Drake in Laramie. The Drakes are the parents of Wendi Kirkpatrick, who is the wife of one of my best friends-- Ryan. He asked, "Are you ready to be rescued yet?" My plan was to stay in Medicine Bow and ride to Laramie on Thursday to stay with the Drakes. Mr Drake had decided that I should not be left in a 'terrible' place like Medicine Bow and that it was too windy for me to ride on Thursday. If he came to get me, I could sleep in my own bed and have a full day to enjoy Laramie. After days of 105, 106 and 85 miles, I was happy to be 'rescued'.

The Drakes are great. On the way in, I got a tour of the countryside and was introduced to the tallest building in Wyoming (a dorm at the University of Wyoming). I got my own suite downstairs, had access to a hot tub and met Woodrow, their somewhat spoiled sheepdog.

Mr Drake is a huge Wyoming fan. First thing that he did when he came to pick me up was hand me a Wyoming hat. Told me I had to fit in. He's got a Pete Gosar, a former Wyoming linebacker, for governor sign in his yard because as he says, "Anyone who's made two or three hundred tackles for Wyoming has my vote."

Mrs. Drake works in the office of the President of the University so she did not get to join us in adventures on Thursday. Mr Drake took me up to Vedauwoo, these cool rock formations above Laramie. We also went by the Ames Monument, which marked the highest point of the original Transcontinental railroad. He took me on a mini tour of the University where I had to disagree and say that Elon had much better groomed grounds than Wyoming. Then we went to the President's office to see Mrs. Drake.
Ames Monument
After visiting the Pedal Shop-- his bike got stolen last Saturday-- and a coffee shop in very neat downtown Laramie, we headed up towards the Snowy Range. Just past the town of Centennial (population 100), we climbed to nearly 10,000 feet. There was an overlook there that offered views into Colorado. We also visited a favorite spot of the Drakes, Lake Marie.
Me and Al
Marie Lake
Laramie is a great place. Fun little town. Nice people like the Drakes. Cool university. And a very much needed day out of the sun, wind and off the bike.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Baron is Back!

Remember Charlie, who stopped to give me water in the desert between Bend and Riley, Oregon? I also ran into him the next night at the Meat Hook (real name of the restaurant) in Burns.
Free Water
Well, I got this message in the comment section of one of my posts:

Charlie said...
HKU - Baron would like to join you on the rest of your trip. I read your blog and recognized the location of his "last" photo - I found him on the descent after your posted picture (yeah, pathetic, but I know the highway pretty well since I've been on it more than a few times). If you give me an address I'll get him to you ASAP - I'm sure he would enjoy the rest of the trip. - Charlie

Of course, I'm stoked. I've exchanged emails with Charlie and Baron, via US Mail, will be joining me and his already waiting green argyle cousin, Cliff, in Colorado Springs. Baron missed the Rockies and all of Idaho and didn't get to hang out with the Drakes, but I'm sure he has had his share of adventures.

And how cool is Charlie?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Dejongs

These guys deserve their own post.

I am at the KOA in Dubois yesterday, working on getting my air in my tires with my little handpump. Up walks this couple who ask if I would like an easier pump. They are from Grand Rapids, Michigan and on a western tour in their RV. Warren has done some biking, so he wanted to talk. Ester wanted to be sure I was bright and visible when I rode.

Anyway, Warren had a real pump (with a gauge!) that not only simplified things but let me know exactly how under-inflated my tires were.

As I pull into the Cowboy Cafe for breakfast this morning before my long ride (and you know it's gonna be good because there were no open tables), I see Ester waving at me insisting I sit with them. We had a great conversation over breakfast and coffee. One of the friendliest couples you will ever meet. Very proud of their kids and grandkids. At the end, they insisted that they buy my breakfast for which I was very grateful.

We took pictures and hugged before I headed on my way. They were heading to Cheyenne. I asked them to honk when they passed me on the road. About 15 miles down the road, my day was made when I heard a few short "beeps" and saw them waving as their RV passed me on HWY 26. The kindness of the people I have met on this trip have been more than incredible.
The Dejongs


I'll probably be back to Yellowstone. I missed a lot because I was on a direct path through the park and did not get to do the entire loop. I missed the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

The scenery is fabulous. And for the most part, the RVs that had me so nervous were pretty generous with room when passing. Most of them. Old Faithful was cool to see. I got there right when the geyser was about to erupt. Great timing. Everything else about it was a zoo. There were a zillion people there. The parking lot looked more like Disney and less like a National Park. It was nuts.
Old Faithful

I am most fascinated by the thermal springs in Yellowstone. Half of the world's geothermal features are in Yellowstone. The pools can be scalding hot but spectacularly diverse. Some are just puddles of mud. Some small and others large. When you look at the pictures and see all the vivid colors, you are looking at bacteria colonies that thrive in the heat. They are called "thermophiles".
Thermal Pool
Grand Prismatic

I camped the night at Grant Village. It was a nice campground. They were packed; I shared a site with two French guys who were hitchhiking. They were funny. At a nice dinner in the restaurant there that had a terrific view of Yellowstone Lake. There was a storm on the lake that eventually got to us at camp that night.
Yellowstone Lake

I think Yellowstone could be a much better place. There's too much traffic. I bet there would be more animal sightings if there were fewer vehicles. Denali National Park in Alaska has no private vehicles (except for a special few that win a lottery drawing each year). Every visitor into Denali has to buy a ticket on a National Park bus. I thought it was great. Each bus also had a guide or ranger who knew park history, ecology and where to find wildlife. What's cool is that on many buses you could get off where ever you wanted. When you wanted to move on, you just flagged another green bus. Since Yellowstone is essentially a loop, this could work.
Riley Creek Bus Stop

Monday, July 12, 2010

Over the Divide

Since I last wrote from Idaho Falls, I have crossed the Continental Divide. Five times. The Continental Divide marks the watershed. In theory, water that does not evaporate will flow like this: on the west side of the divide into the Pacific Ocean and on the east side into the Gulf of Mexico. Really cool is in Yellowstone National Park there is a small pond called Isa Lake that sits right on the Divide at Grant's Pass (two photos below). Water from the lake could end up in either the Pacific or the Gulf. Sorry, that's me being nerdy. The other thing that means is that I am on the home side of the Rockies. I'm like Lewis and Clark coming home.
Isa Lake
Craig Pass

One of the themes of the last few days has been cyclists. Met lots of them. Partly because I am back on the Transamerica and partly because I was riding through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. There's Andrew and David (below, top) who are from London and biking across America. There were the the three girls from St. Louis going to Portland. Pablo from Spain was doing a Yellowstone Tour. Two other girls were riding to New York City. A group of cyclists included Kelly (below, bottom in red), from Etowah, NC who is biking from Boulder to Vancouver. The two on the either side of Kelly were riding from New York to school at Evergreen College in Washington. I met some cyclist in Colter Bay that were doing the Transamerica from East to West and some others riding from Salt Lake City to Glacier National Park. Met two different guys on the Great Divide route (which I want to do someday). It's been fun interacting with all these neat and interesting people, even if is just for a rest break on the side of the road.

Other ride notes:
- I only made it 63 miles from Idaho Falls to Ashton on Wednesday, July 7. My goal was Island Park, another 25 miles up HWY 20. First, the ride was hillier and windier than I anticipated. I was pretty tired when I got to Ashton. I was mentally trying to get ready for the next day's climb over Targhee Pass on the Idaho-Montana border when the ladies at the Visitor's Center told me that Ashton Hill was much more difficult. 6 percent grade compared to 2-3 percent at Targhee. That sold me. I decided to stay in Ashton and climb a lot the next day.

- Ashton is a nice little town. Apparently, a lot of people come here (and to Island Park) for fishing in the summer and snowmachining in the winter.

- I did not climb Ashton Hill the next day. I took a detour on the Mesa Falls Scenic Highway. It added nearly 10 miles, still had lots of climbing but had fewer cars (and semis!) and I got to see the two Mesa Falls. Here's the Upper Falls:
Upper Mesa

- Island Park, ID claims to have the world's longest Main Street. It's 400 residents have a variety of shops (most catering to hunters, fishers or snowmobilers) along it's 36 mile Main Street.

- West Yellowstone, Montana is very touristy. I guess what else can you expect from a town that is footsteps from Yellowstone. It's still not as bad as Gatlinburg, TN.

- Yellowstone deserves it's own blog post.

- I enjoyed riding through Grand Teton National Park and the time I spent in Colter Bay (the top pic below is the marina at Colter Bay). The Teton Range is among the most perfect mountains I have ever seen. See for yourself:
Colter Bay

- Despite it's celebrity appeal and cool factor, I skipped Jackson. One, it was over 60 miles round trip out of my way (though the road in is supposed view-tacular). Two, other cyclists told me it was expensive and there are no campgrounds in town. Three, my friend Wendi, born and raised in Wyoming, said Jackson is great, but doesn't display "true Wyoming." Good enough for me.

- Sunday was a climbing day. Togwohee Pass was my last trek over the Continental Divide. At 9,658 ft, it is also the highest elevation of my entire trip. It was about 15 miles of steady uphill made more difficult by the construction that turned the last 6 miles of my climb into a gravel fest. I did cruise into Dubois faster than what might have been prudent with the trailer behind me. Without fear, the Bob held up nicely, even at nearly 40 MPH.

- Dubois is a great little town. Around 900 people, they boast that they are an authentic western town. Good place. Nice eats. Cool boardwalk with names on it. I wish I were not there on a Sunday when everything was closed. Did get great pie at the Cowboy Cafe.
Dubois Boardwalk

- In Dubois, the guy camped next to me was named Doug. His BMW motorcycle fizzed out and he has to to stay in Dubois for two days until his wife can come rescue him with a U-Haul. The nearest place that can service it is Salt Lake City, so he's just gonna haul it home to Calgary. He looked at my bike and commented that at least mine worked. I love BMW bikes and he had some bicycle touring questions, so we became fast friends.

- Today I made it to Shoshoni. It was 106 miles on my odometer. Really hot and sunny. Fortunately, I had a downhill most of the time and a tailwind 2/3 of the time. I took a little half mile detour to a convenience store in Kinnear for a hot dog. I didn't need it, I needed more an excuse to get out of the sun. Shoshoni is a hole of a town. It once was booming-- 2 doctors, several banks, 23 saloons. Now look at it: