Day 73 - Casper to Kaycee - Two Far 2021 - Sooo... Far - CycleBlaze

June 20, 2021

Day 73 - Casper to Kaycee

Sooo...long

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It was a very long day.  We were on the road for over ten hours.  There was some headwind, some really bad pavement, some rain and, just to top off a challenging day, an interstate reduced to two lanes with no shoulder and a 65 mph speed limit.  We both just about reached our limit today, but a warm, dry room and a pleasant dinner made the world seem right again.

The day started out great.  We had gorgeous weather and rode up I-25.  We have been very happy cycling this road.  The route began with a long climb that topped out at 7%.  We felt good about our ability to accomplish it with minimal pain and knew that it was the steepest climb we would have today.

The I-25 frontage road was great and we had it all to ourselves. We were on this for over 15 miles didn't encounter a single car.
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A scenic roadside ruin.
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This hill was covered with sheep. It's the largest herd we've ever seen.
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In places where water had evaporated, this white "stuff" was left. We haven't research it at all. We saw it all all along our route today. Do any of our readers know what it is?
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Around halfway into our ride, we reached the highest elevation of this trip.  I'd like to say "It's all downhill from here.", but I know better!

My Garmin read 5678 at the highest point. Kerry's read 5680 at the same place, so we're counting that as our maximum elevation.
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The frontage road ended at WY-259 which took us into the town of Midwest.  It was the only place (other than the side of the road) to stop for the entire 72 miles.

Near Midwest, we saw these buttes.
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The one on the left had this interesting feature.
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I saw this cool looking rock near the same place.  It was a little distance away and my zoom left a slight out of focus image.

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In Midwest, I found out that the "cool looking rock" was Teapot Rock of Teapot Dome scandal fame.  A brief history of the scandal is on the marker below, but it is a little hard to read.  

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Oil production has been an important part of the economy of this part of Wyoming.
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An old oil derrick in Midwest
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After a nice rest stop in Midwest, we had only 30 miles to go.  We were over halfway and thought we had the hardest part of the day behind us.  We were fooled - just as we were yesterday with our "only 25" miles left.

The road we turned on past Midwest to get back to I-25 was eight miles of the worst asphalt we've had on this trip.  It may be the worst "paved" eight miles we've encountered on any tour.  We are naturally slow going uphill, but Kerry also went slow downhill because he was afraid of breaking a spoke on the wide and deep expansion cracks. That was frustrating because it made each climb longer as we had no momentum to help us up.  We were so happy to reach the end of that road and get back on the frontage road and its good pavement!

Seavo was ready to rest her wheels after all that rough pavement.
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We haven't seen many wildflowers in Wyoming.  This is one I saw while we were stopped.

This shows the stages of the bud and flowers. Waiting to hear from you, Bill.
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Rose SamsonI am not sure if these flowers belongs to the Plumeria group.
I have a Plumeria plant here at home & there is a similarity to
the above. They are beautiful!
Interesting!
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1 month ago

One thing I haven't mentioned, because without a picture I forget, is the cattle guards we cross every time we enter or exit the interstate.  They aren't dangerous to ride over, but they shake us up!

A cattle guard on an entrance ramp to I-25. Got to keep the cows off the highway.
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We were on the frontage road for about three miles before we actually got on the interstate again.  During that stretch, a light rain started.  We stopped under the interstate overpass and got on our rain gear, but didn't have much concern.  It was a very light rain.  But - when it started raining the temperature really dropped.  It went from 70 to 50 in just a few minutes.  Still, at that point we were only around six or seven miles from the motel, so how bad could it be?  It could be this bad:  There was construction on the interstate that channeled us onto a two lane section with no shoulder and a 65 mph speed limit.  Even with light traffic, it was very unsafe.  We only stayed on that for a few hundred feet when Kerry turned the bike into the median.  We followed what looked like a truck path across a wide median and up onto the closed side of the road.  That was great for about a mile, then we came to the reason for the road closure - a bridge was completely closed.  Kerry was determined not to be stopped and walked out onto the bridge to assess the options.  (It was raining harder and getting colder at this point.)

This bridge is CLOSED.
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After he walked across, he came back and said we could make it with the bike.  I called him a crazy #$%^#$, but went along.  I understood it was our only reasonable option.

Walking the bike across was easy.
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Then we came to the barricades.
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Kerry said we could push the bike around this end. There was honestly, no more than two feet of flat ground (mud, now) on which to get loaded bike and ourselves around. On the right, there was a steep hill.
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We made it safely across this closed bridge and rode the last five or so miles to our motel.  It is a small, old, dated, but very clean and comfortable place run by very nice people.  Kerry was thrilled that they have FREE CANDY!  We went right across the parking lot to a restaurant and had a relaxing dinner.  Now we can sleep away our exhaustion and be ready to go again in the morning.

Today's ride: 72 miles (116 km)
Total: 2,787 miles (4,485 km)

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Keith A. SpanglerTHAT sounds like a challenging day.....congrats for getting it done!
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1 month ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithIt was definitely a day full of Type 2 fun!
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1 month ago