July 6, 2018
Lander – Rawling
207 km (129 miles)
1435 m (4707 feet) elevation
8:17 moving time
2748 km (1708 miles)
It was already hot outside when we headed out this morning. The weather forecast had warned about the possibility of extremely hot day so we wanted to get an early start. Our goal for the day was to go to Jeffrey City and stay in a church there that welcomes cyclists. Don’t let the name ‘city’ fool you. For not so many years Jeffrey City was a big town with a population of 4000 and 600 school children but today it is a gost town with one diner and population of 15-20. The buildings, school and gas station are still there. This town will never be ‘great again’ unless the uranium market comes back.
The wind was mostly in our favour to start with which was nice under the warm sun and moderate climb. When we where almost there the heat was around 40 degrees and the pavement black so we could really feel the head. It was like our tires sunk into the tarmac.
The road cracks are fixed by some rubber compound which becomes soft and slippery in the heat. Riding in it feels like the bike is slipping from out under you.
The landscape is basically a desert with high winds. The vegetation is low and everything is wind swept. The main river of the area is called Wind River.
The mosquitoes are really aggressive and next to a deer carcass in the middle of the road they feasted on Saemi. One stung him through his sock and the pain was much worse than from most stings. Maybe this was a uranium-mutated attacking mosquito.
It was nice getting into the diner and there we sat for some two hours talking to locals that had some interesting stories to tell. Coming into town we saw antelopes just walking the streets in that lonely town.
After sitting in the diner and having some special burger we decided to go and look at the church. Outside we meet Haeme, a Spanish fellow who is doing the TransAm from east to west. He told us that he had been battling headwind for most of the time and he was going to stay the night in the church, being to tired to go any further. We went and looked at the church wich was very nice and welcoming but then had the crazy idea to go back on the road and finish some 100 km more and get to Rawling.
So we did and pedaled on in the heat climbing some 800 meters more having 2 flats (Monika had them both) but managed to get to Rawlings just after the sun went down. Had then the opportunity to use our headlights 😄. Had some antelopes running with us part of the ride and then crossing the road in front of us. Just amazing animals, so beautiful.
Despite the heat and after completing our longest ride ever we felt pretty good. However a rest day sounds great!