2 June 2008

Short Day

I got a beauty of a lie in until nearly eight am today and showered in the most powerful shower I have felt for years. This thing was like a fireman's hose and I left the motel feeling super clean. Dave and I grabbed breakfast at a cafe a few doors down before hitting Safeway for food drink and assorted painkillers and face prettying goods. On the way out I bumped into a fellow cyclist who is on his way to Virginia. He was Chuck Bell from Paradise, California (seriously) and was looking way too fit and healthy for a guy in his 60's. Chuck's bike was the same weight if not heavier than mine when I started and he is aiming to post about 30 pounds of excess kit home in Missoula.

Dave and I finally left town at half ten, now fully in wind down mode, and we began the 29 mile climb to the first peak if the day, Sumpter Pass. It was slow going with a wind in our faces but after a few hours we were sat at the top having lunch and I nearly dozed off in the sun when I lay down to stretch my back out. Dave woke me just as I was drifting off and we rolled downhill for 7 miles before beginning another climb up to the top of Tipton Pass where they once hand laid a railway to take logs and gold down the mountain. I took a few breathers on the way up but still made it to the top ahead of Dave who managed no breaks but a slower steadier pace.

After a relaxing descent we decided to save the third peak for tomorrow. The only campground at the top has fallen behind apparently and you can now only camp on gravel with no water either so we set up camp at Austin Junction which has a restaurant and gift shop complex and they allow camping in the back forest. One club sandwich later I am stretched out on an old wooden swing bench at the front of the store writing today's entry. We just met a couple of motorcyclists, Kurt Peterson and Matt Longtin from Portland and Eugene respectively, and these guys are on the tail end of a week long bike tour down by Utah and Nevada. It turns out that they are both cyclists and have ridden the Rawlins to Florence section of this route and they are hoping to do the Pueblo to Rawlins section next. Coincidentally, on their motorbikes they have also been to Jeffrey City and they had a pretty similiar experience to me (as did Dave it seems!!).

I received an email from Carl who has now finished his trip and is chilling in Missoula so congratulations to him as he had some rough days along the way! Early night tonight and we are staying at a church tomorrow which has showers, laundry machines and a PC which should be cool.

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