Day 74, to Lander: A swift ride to town with everything, leapfrogging with other cyclists - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

July 5, 2022

Day 74, to Lander: A swift ride to town with everything, leapfrogging with other cyclists

Dani is seen riding forward down U.S. 287, with a layered red mountain to the left that reminded us of Sedona, and boulder-y white mountain to the right, and tall, snow-capped mountains in the distance. All the mountains all at once!
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Tuesday stats

Start: Cyclist hostel, Jeffrey City, Wyo.

End: City Park in Lander

The Daily Progress: 59.5 miles

Cumulative climb: 2092 feet

Cumulative descent: 2942

Elevation at endpoint: 5432

Ice cream flavors: A free ice cream sandwich from Gannett Peak Sports!

Lodging expenses: $10 donation

Food expenses: I forget. $30-something in camper meals and a card from the Wild Iris outdoorsy store and I honestly don't know from Safeway.

Oh, and a sweet Wyoming sticker for Blue from a "made in Wyoming" art store. $2.65-ish.

Chris's notes

For the most part, I'll let Dani's notes do the talking here (as I've done for a few days now; I'm generally finding myself too tired and/or too interested in other things the past few nights to write very much; this is largely the result of getting up earlier, at Dani's wise suggestion, so that we can avoid riding in too much afternoon sun). But there's one thing about today that Dani left out that I want to note: Today was the first day of playing leapfrog with other cyclists riding the TransAm. At the hostel in Jeffrey City, we met Mike (aka Rock Doc, because he's a geologist), plus a threesome of young guys named Dan, Clifford and Josh. Mike met up with another couple and rode together today, so there were two groups of three, plus Dani and I, doing the same ride today, from Jeffrey City to Lander. I found this kind of exciting because I'd wondered about it since I left. I already have my favorite travel companion with me, but there is additional assurance in seeing other cyclists on the road and having the opportunity to exchange tips.

One last thought from me today: Way back in Damascus, Va., at Lady Di's Hostel and B&B, an Appalachian Trail hiker who went by "Grimace" (government name: Chris) said this after hearing about the trip I was on: "That sounds epic" and "You should do epic things with your life." At the time, I was learning more from all the hikers about hiking the AT, and that sounded pretty epic to me, and I thought to myself that cycling the TransAm was not as difficult and lots of people do it and "epic" felt like an overstatement. In the past few days, Colorado and especially Wyoming have completely changed my mind. The landscape is epic. Crossing it on our own power feels epic. The scenery is awe -inspiring and sparse and arid and windy and hot and rocky and somehow varied and full of mountains of all different shapes and complexions. It feels like turning off the road and going any considerable distance would lead you to into a deadly nowhere. Riding through it is simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating. To describe what we're seeing, Dani has used words such as "vast" and "sweeping." I think "epic" is very apt.

This was the view westward from Beaver Rim. The road, U.S. 287, is visible on the far left before it disappears behind the hills into the valley. In the distance are snow-capped mountains, the Wind River Mountains, with vast open valleys in between, covered in sage bushes. There are no trees visible in the valley, only on the edge of the embankment that I was standing on as I took this photo.
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George HallThose of us who have ridden the Transam often take pictures of the same view - I recognize so many of your pics even without reading the caption - thanks for rekindling my memories.
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1 month ago

Dani's notes

Chris and I knocked out the 61 miles between Jeffrey City and Lander before noon. I saw four pronghorns, one deer, and sweeping Wyoming vistas. The long, swift descent from Beaver Rim to the valley below was particularly fun.

Lander exceeded expectations. Our first stop was Gannett Peak Sports, a bike shop that gives out ice cream sandwiches to TransAm cyclists. Then we popped into a store featuring Wyoming-made goods so Chris could score a sticker for Blue. Then to the outfitters to pick up some dehydrated dinners. Then Safeway for fresh food and snacks. Then showers at the city pool. Finally, the city park, where we pitched camp.

After two longish days, I was looking forward to more moderate mileage tomorrow, but Wyoming had other ideas. The next decent lodging options are 9 miles down the road... or 74. So my goal for tonight is to rest up and go to bed early in preparation for a long ride tomorrow. 

Today's ride: 60 miles (97 km)
Total: 2,730 miles (4,394 km)

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