Warm up on the Great Divide - Part 2 - Reaching New Heights - CycleBlaze

August 6, 2021 to August 9, 2021

Warm up on the Great Divide - Part 2

Pinedale to Jeffrey City

My European adventure has begun! I got a ride to the airport with my niece Catie and breezed through check-in, required to show my passport and vaccine card. For reasons only the airlines can conjure, my flight to Paris connects through Dallas, located 1200 miles west of Raleigh NC. I’m in for a long day of travel before I even board the plane for Paris, so I’ll take the time to wrap up my Great Divide adventure.

We had a nice rest day in Pinedale, which I spent eating ice cream, doing laundry and recharging my power packs. The town is a mix of restaurants, bars and shops that cater to tourists, outdoor adventure seekers and local rancher/farmers. I didn’t make it the the Museum of the Mountains, located on the edge of town, but I understand it is worth a visit.

From Pinedale we headed southeast on mostly paved roads into the Great Basin, a largely uninhabited expanse of sand and sagebrush. The Great Basin includes the Green River Basin, the Great Divide Basin, and perhaps others. Frankly, I was geologically challenged when trying to understand the distinguishing features and borders of the various basins of Wyoming. The shared features are that the basins were formed by a split in the continental divide, and that no water drains from the basins - what rain falls into the basin stays in the basin. Regardless of their origin or boundaries, no words or images can capture the immersive experience of cycling through a vastness most of have seen only in Hollywood westerns.

On reflection, those four days in the Great Basin have merged into a singular experience, punctuated only by the occasional landmark or wildlife encounter. Rather than a chronological narrative, I will try to capture the experience in a few amateur haikus and some photos 

Mile after mile of

 Undulating roads winding

Through treeless landscapes

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Wind. Wind in your face 

Or propelling you forward. 

Yikes! Crosswinds and sand

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Sagebrush, wagon ruts

 Open rangeland. Iconic

American West 

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Curiosity 

Manifest as a trio

Of feral horses

On the outskirts of Pinedale
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On the outskirts of Pinedale
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Campsite on Lander Cutoff Road, a short cut on the Oregon Trail
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South Pass City Ghost Town, once a thriving gold mining town
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Stone marker shows where the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail and the Pony Express Trail intersect
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Wagon ruts of the Mormon Pioneer Trail
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Campsite at Diagnus Well
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Leaving the GDMBR and heading north to Jeffrey City WYO
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Bike hostel located in Jeffrey City on the Trans Am trail. We had hot showers and a restaurant meal on our last night of the tour!
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This tour challenged me in so many ways - physically as well as emotionally. It was an experience that I relish, one with no regrets -though I’m not ready to sign up for more of the GDMBR. I’m looking forward to my cushier touring style, one with a bed, running water and a flush toilet at the end of each day. 

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Rich FrasierLove the haïkus!
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1 month ago
Kathleen JonesThe haikus were a high point of this entry. Well done on doing part of the GDMBR. Chapeau, and bon voyage!
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1 month ago
Suzanne GibsonWhat an adventure
wind sand hard beds no toilets
Soft beds in France wait
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1 month ago
Susan CarpenterTo Kathleen JonesThanks Kathleen!
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1 month ago
Susan CarpenterTo Rich FrasierThanks Rich!
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1 month ago