Day Twenty-one: Rock Springs, Wyoming to Wamsutter, Wyoming - "Vibes" - CycleBlaze

From "Vibes"

By Jeff Lee

July 5, 2024

Day Twenty-one: Rock Springs, Wyoming to Wamsutter, Wyoming

Last night I didn't take any Nyquil; I wanted to see if I could sleep through the night without coughing. I didn't cough much, but I still didn't sleep well because of July Fourth fireworks.

I got up around 5:30 and turned on the TV, something that I don't do very often in motels on bike tours. I was a little disappointed to find that all the local stations were in Salt Lake City. I guess I hadn't really ridden that far in the last few days after all.

I knew I'd have to ride about 30 miles on I-80 today, which I wasn't looking forward to, so I dawdled this morning. 

Three nice ladies of a certain age were outside the hotel, preparing to get on their touring motorcycles. I talked to them for a while, and learned that they were members of a group called The Motor Maids, and were riding  across the country for a big meetup in Dublin, Ohio. They asked  me to take their picture with one of their smartphones, which I did, but then I forgot to get a picture of them with my own camera.

I finally started riding just after 8:00. It was chilly again, and I wore my rain jacket.

I rode slowly through town, taking a few pictures.

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I stopped at America's most unfortunately named convenience store chain. I'm not a fan of this place; I'm a Casey's man. Sadly, I haven't seen a single  Casey's on this trip yet.

As much as it pains me, the apple fritter I bought here was almost as good as the one Casey's sells.

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Susan CarpenterMaverik recently bought out Kum and Go and is now in the process of rebranding all the stores
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Jeff LeeTo Susan CarpenterGOOD
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Fortified by the fritter, I rode onto I-80. I'd been dreading it, but it wasn't terrible. Mega-traffic, of course, but the shoulder was wide.

I was only on it for a few miles, and then I exited onto a state  highway that ran alongside the interstate for miles.

This was a boring, utterly traffic-free road. There wasn't a lot to see.

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The most interesting sight along the road was an enormous junkyard with an interesting fence:

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The road was beside a long, long set of train tracks. I amused myself by observing brightly colored  graffiti, and trying, and failing to understand what any of it meant.

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The paved frontage road  ended, and I turned onto a dirt road. I'd been concerned about this, because John Egan, who'd worked out this route for me, had mentioned that the dirt portion of today's route might be rough.

I found that it wasn't too bad, though: My luck with Wyoming dirt roads was holding up!

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I passed an alarming sign about "Explosives In  Use", but  continued on.

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I passed another alarming sign about live wires overhead, but continued on.

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I crossed the interstate and turned onto the other dirt road of the day, but  found that it wasn't dirt after all: Instead it was a crumbling old paved road, whose condition started out not so bad, but quickly deteriorated.

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Finally,  after about forty miles for the day, I turned onto I-80 for the last thirty miles.

A mile or so later I turned into a rest area, and found a truck driver to quiz about  the condition of the shoulder for the thirty miles to Wamsutter. He told me it was all good, as far as he knew, and there was no construction fouling things up. Relieved, I got back on I-80 after taking a photo of one of the entertaining Wyoming historical signs at the rest area.

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The thirty miles  on I-80 flew by. The shoulder was wide, separated by a rumble strip, and wasn't too cluttered with debris. I had a big tailwind.

I only took a few photos from the interstate.

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I arrived in Wamsutter, population 197, and found my motel. It was pretty terrible. I was surprised  to learn there were several other bicyclists staying at this worn-out place tonight. Apparently Wamsutter is on the Tour Divide route, and several riders were in town.

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I fell into one of my gloomy moods initially, and then, at my wife's urging, purchased  and ate most of a pizza, which made me feel better.

After consultation with Joy and later John Egan, I decided I would  brave I-80 again tomorrow, and ride directly to Rawlins, and perhaps on past that to Medicine Bow.



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Today's ride: 70 miles (113 km)
Total: 1,296 miles (2,086 km)

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