Day Nineteen: Coalville, Utah to Lyman, Wyoming - "Vibes" - CycleBlaze

From "Vibes"

By Jeff Lee

July 3, 2024

Day Nineteen: Coalville, Utah to Lyman, Wyoming

After the other day's terribly trafficky ride, this was probably the best day of the tour, with very low traffic roads, nice scenery, mild temperatures, and a big tailwind the second half of the day.

I was up early. It was cold - Below 40 degrees!

I was the first person at the motel breakfast at 6:00 sharp, and ate double helpings of everything.

I went back to my room and finished packing everything on the bike. The annoying cough, which had mostly gone away, had bothered me again yesterday, so I made sure to pack my remaining Nyquil.

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I waited a while for it to warm up a few degrees, but finally decided I couldn't delay any further, and put on my rain jacket - for warmth, since there was no rain in the forecast - and rode out.

I crossed over I-80, rode through the downtown that was empty this morning, and onto Chalk Creek Road. Except for a few people driving into Coalville, there was very little traffic for the next few hours. Only a few cars, and a couple of trucks passed me on the paved section. Later, after I turned onto dirt and gravel, there were even fewer vehicles.

Initially, in the first few miles past Coalville, there were several homes and small farms. After that, though, it became much emptier along Chalk Creek Road.

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I passed an absurdly overbuilt McMansion. Actually, this monstrosity was way beyond a typical suburban McMansion:

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This was a very nice ride - Basically the opposite of the horribly busy and noisy ride around the Park City area a few days ago.

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I entered the small community of Upton. I was surprised that it was large enough to support a Mormon church. I stopped at the church for a while ad looked around, while eating some trail mix I was carrying in my handlebar bag.

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Back on the road. I was loving the ride this morning. The sound of birds chirping was a lot nicer than the sounds of zillions of cars passing me.

There were a few hills, but they were easy. Maybe my day off yesterday had helped. I felt stronger today.

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I pulled off at a camp/retreat owned by the United Methodist Church. I didn't see a No Trespassing sign, so I rode in and looked around for a while. I'm always a little surprised to see the presence of another Christian denomination here in Mormon Land.

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Back on the road, I passed an interesting geological formation,  and then many, many sheep. I'd heard yesterday from an employee at the store next to the motel that there was a very large sheep ranch on Chalk Creek Road. The guy had warned me that the sheepdogs guarding the sheep might run out on the road and chase me, but I doubted that very much. These weren't wild Kentucky dogs that chase everything that moves, including and especially bicyclists; presumably these dogs were disciplined professionals ;)

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Finally, after 25 or so miles, I turned onto dirt. I wasn't sure what to expect, but initially the condition was fine.

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My route had me making a right turn, but there was a gate across the remnants of the road. I looked at the map and saw that it appeared I could turn right a few miles later and get back on the route that way.

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Soon after that I observed two men on horseback moving a group of sheep down the road. I pulled over and watched this slow operation.

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The men were being assisted by two dogs. As I expected, these dogs were well trained; they glanced at me as I stood behind the bike on the side of the road, but, presumably judging that I was not a threat, ignored me.

Soon after that, I turned onto county road 150 and started a steep climb on dirt.

The condition of the road was mostly good. I just hoped it went somewhere, and didn't end at a locked gate.

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A man driving a pickup truck, the only vehicle I'd see on this road, approached. I flagged him down, and he confirmed that I'd eventually reach pavement. I felt better after that.

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I reached a nice shady section, and took a break.

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The road became much rougher for a mile or two, but not long after that I exited onto a wide-shouldered Wyoming highway. I'm not sure where, on the dirt road, that I'd left Utah, but now I was in Wyoming, which, generally has very nice, wide shoulders on the highways.

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Wide Wyoming shoulder.
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I turned off the highway onto a dirt road. I had a big tailwind now. I flew down the dirt, which was mostly hard-packed with little gravel, although there were a few gravelly sections I had to be careful with.

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I rode along a lake for a while, then through an open range section, where cattle wandered on the road.

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I stopped at an historic site and investigated the odd-looking kilns that had been used to make charcoal years ago.

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Might have been interesting to camp inside one of these.
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At one point the dirt road came very close to I-80, which, from several hundred feet away, looked horribly busy. Big trucks lumbered up the hill. I-80 was very, very busy. 

There was a thermometer randomly located on a pole. This was the hottest it got today:

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I did a steep climb, and then rode through an area with windmills. My tailwind was very strong at this point.

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I rode through a section of unkempt small farms in the area around Fort Bridger, and went down a dead end road for a half a mile, which was a little aggravating, but that was the first navigational error of the day, so I didn't feel too bad. I'd been very lucky with all the good dirt roads today.

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I turned onto pavement for the last several miles to my destination, Lyman, population 2,135. I felt like I hadn't eaten enough yesterday, so I had my most reliable touring meal, a large cheese pizza, then talked to both Joy and John Egan, who were helping my with the routing across Wyoming.

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Today's ride: 85 miles (137 km)
Total: 1,152 miles (1,854 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 3
Gregory GarceauDogs that turned out to be trained professionals and the assurance that the rough road you've been riding would eventually lead to a paved road = major success in going with your VIBES.
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2 weeks ago
Jeff LeeTo Gregory GarceauYes, the vibes approach worked much better on this one than the riding day before, when I tried and failed to find a good way around Park City .
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2 weeks ago
John EganThings always get better in Wyoming.
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2 weeks ago