Avg Speed: 15.5 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 119 bpm
Climbing: 2,440 ft
Calories Burned: 5,183
Long day and ride ... mostly barren landscape ... Hell's half acre ... first Wall Drug sign ... antelope ... no effects from yesterday
After almost 12 hours of sleep and some more benedryl, advil, and lots of water, I awoke feeling pretty good (thankfully). A lot of folks were up and out very early given the long 120 mile day. I loaded at 5:45 and had breakfast at the hotel as opposed to heading to the sit down place down the road. I wanted to make sure I had a good filling in the AM unlike yesterday. Waffles, eggs, oatmeal, and some muffins gave me a good start. The Geldings were eager to get going and I knew they would be quick today, so I sent them on and finished my breakfast. My plan was to see how I felt and join them later if I was strong enough. I guess I took my time eating. When I left the hotel, I was the last person to head out (some folks had gone to the breakfast spot, but a lot were already on the road for as much as 45 minutes).
Riding alone is not a bad thing and I do a lot of it at home. The 35 miles to the first SAG stop gave me a great chance to ride my ride and set my own pace. I felt pretty good and established a solid rhythm. There was not much to see. I passed a few small towns with a store or two, but it was pretty barren. About half way to the SAG, I came upon Boysen State Park. It was a nice diversion from the lack luster scenery. The reservoir sits in front of some nice rock formations. I passed several folks including Katie, who was back on her bike after a few days resting a bad Achilles. I made it to SAG in about two hours, which was really strong considering it was slight uphill grade.
|Nice View From the Bridge|
|The View Looking East|
|Brighter When Gerard Rode By and Snapped This One|
|ABB Riders Swell the Population Five Fold|
|Would Have Gotten Closer, But I Am Now Shy Of Fields|
|An Institution in These Here Parts|
|A Typical SAG Stop|
|The First of Many Wall Drug Signs To Come|
|Hells Half Acre - Buffalo Jump|
|The Hells Half Acre Gorge|
|A Lot More Than A 1/2 Acre|
|Starship Troopers Used This As One Of Their Sets|
Daniel and Bruno from Switzerland arrived to Hells Half Acre shortly after I did. We headed out to the final SAG together. Those boys can fly. It was a nice downhill run for about 10 miles and I enjoyed the draft they provided. We hit a moderate hill and well ... they can climb too. I tried to reconnect a few times, but I just could not reach them until the SAG in Narrona. I opted to finish the final 30 miles the way I started ... alone with my pace and thoughts. The mountains of Casper started to appear as did more cattle farms. I saw some antelope as well. I was definitely in between groups today ... the fastest folks were in front of me, while the rest of the group was behind me. I passed no one and no one passed me the last 30 miles. Solitude makes for interesting thoughts. I sang out loud a few times. I cried a few times thinking about my Dad and his health. I laughed and smiled a few times thinking about my girls and the fun they are having this summer. I pondered what lay in store for Mike when he graduates later this year and the road he is on now that his relationship with Erin has changed (hang in there my boy). All these thoughts helped make the final miles go by a lot faster.
|Click To See The Cattle Get Bigger|
|A Lonely Little Antelope|
|A Bigger Herd of Antelope|
After riding the local highways (not quite interstates) of Casper I finally hit the local bike path along the river and found my way to the hotel. I didn't quite follow the cue sheet or ABB road markings, but made it there with a little help from some locals. Nice bike path and the town looks pretty nice. I will explore on my rest day!! Almost 8 hours in the saddle. I arrived a little before 3PM and had a nice cold beer with Dave before unloading the luggage.
|River Into Casper Has Some Fast Currents|
|And a Pelican?|
|Neat Sculpture In Downtown (I Took The Scenic Route)|
Good night moon ... good night longest ride of my life (beat my previous record by 1/2 mile) ... good night second of five legs (and hello rest day number 2) ... good night friends and family (I miss you ... you are in my thoughts)