Day Twenty-three: Medicine Bow, Wyoming to Wheatland, Wyoming - "Vibes" - CycleBlaze

From "Vibes"

By Jeff Lee

July 7, 2024

Day Twenty-three: Medicine Bow, Wyoming to Wheatland, Wyoming

I took an Advil PM before going to bed last night in case the motorcyclists in the adjacent rooms got rowdy, but I never heard them. I was awakened several times by trains, though. It was cold in the night, and I wore my Patagonia long sleeve shirt to bed for the first time. I'm glad I brought that shirt; I've used it a lot on the trip.

I got things together reasonably efficiently and rode a few hundred feet to JB's Stop-N-Shop. I recognized the young clerk working there from when I checked in at the hotel yesterday afternoon. He was cooking in the kitchen at the hotel restaurant then.

He confirmed that he worked both jobs, and told me that he hadn't slept at all yet, because a drunken patron at the hotel bar had had too much to drink, had become violently ill, puking in the bathroom, and couldn't be removed until 4:30 this morning.

We talked for a few minutes, and he tried to convince me of the evils of soda pop. He recommended a specific brand of water bottle with a built in filter that he used, but I've already forgotten what it was.

He also commented on my purchase of a "Mrs. Freshley's" apple pie, noting that until that moment, he had always thought it was "MR. Freshley's." So did I!

It had rained the night before; there was water standing everywhere. And the clouds looked ominous. I rode out anyway.

It was a nice ride. It sprinkled a few times the first several miles, but  that was all. I was wearing my rain jacket, as I have in recent mornings, because it was so chilly.

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Mark BinghamBoth very interesting.
“Gentleman Bandit” - huh.
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1 week ago
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I arrived in Rock River, population 245. The town contained a mix of open and defunct businesses. I walked into one of the open ones, the Sunburst Mercantile, a nice little store. The young  woman working there was friendly, and although I wasn't too hungry after eating my Mrs. Freshley's apple pie a few miles before, I purchased chocolate milk and, for the first time on this trip, strawberry Pop-Tarts. I ate them while sitting at a table. The young woman was sweeping up with a broom, and apologized for a  pile of dirt near where I was sitting. I just laughed and told her that I'd seen much worse on this trip, and not to worry about  it.

Before leaving, she showed me the weather radar on her phone, and predicted (accurately, as it turned out) that I might get a little wet, but it wouldn't be too bad.

After that pleasant interlude, I walked around town and took some photos of the kind of thing that I frequently take photos of on bicycle tours.

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Back on the road. US-30 continued to be nice. It split into a four lane for a while. Traffic continued to fairly light, and the shoulder was good.

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Mike AylingThat's a long train!
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2 weeks ago
Jeff LeeTo Mike AylingYes, there are some very long trains out here.
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1 week ago
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I arrived in Bosler, which appeared to be a ghost town, with several of the sorts of things I enjoy photographing.

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Soon after that I turned onto UT-34, into a cold headwind. A sign indicated that it was 59 miles to Wheatland, my destination for the day. I started a steady climb.

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I had barely looked at a map yesterday, so I was a little surprised when I found myself ascending through a rugged canyon to what I believe will  be the last mountain pass of this trip, Morton Pass.

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The descent, as it always is for me, was a little nerve wracking. Traffic, mostly recreational, picked up. The scenery was great, though. I was still  wearing the rain jacket, but rain never amounted to much.

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I didn't think there would be any services until I got to Wheatland, so I was surprised when I saw this sign:

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I arrived at the saloon. There were several motorcycles parked outside, and I was initially hesitant about entering in my bicycle attire. I went in anyway.

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It was a nice place with friendly people, and two friendly dogs. I sat at the bar and ate French fries. 

The motorcyclists were not the "Hell's Angel" wannabe types, but were instead a group of suburbanites, including one woman, who'd ridden down from Wheatland.

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After eating, I stood outside and answered the Usual Questions the motorcyclists had for me. They were astonished that I didn't  have to buy new tires every week. I don't know where non-bicyclists get this idea that our bicycle tires wear out so quickly.

They were impressed by my trip, although I played it down, as usual; "It's just a vacation." One of the motorcyclists, who told me he'd once ridden a bicycle 40 miles in a day (and apparently had never ridden again) repeatedly called me a "badass."  Ha!

I got back on the rode. With 27 miles to my destination, it had finally warmed up enough to remove the rain jacket, but ten minutes after I took it off, it started raining the most it had all day, so I put it back on for a half hour, before the sky finally cleared for the rest of the day.

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The scenery as I neared Wheatland had changed drastically. It was flatter. There were some corn fields. It was looking like Nebraska, or even Iowa.

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The last miles into Wheatland were easy. I checked into a nicer-than-usual hotel, although the room I was initially assigned proved problematic (people in the next room were yelling), and I had to switch to another room.

I'm not sure where I'm going tomorrow, but I will be in Nebraska soon.

Also, I now have a firm plan for where I'm ending this trip. I'll write about that tomorrow.

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Today's ride: 100 miles (161 km)
Total: 1,496 miles (2,408 km)

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Morri NashYou can play it down but you’re definitely a badass in my book.
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1 week ago