Day 75 - Buffalo to Sheridan - Two Far 2021 - Sooo... Far - CycleBlaze

June 22, 2021

Day 75 - Buffalo to Sheridan

The good and the bad

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Today's ride was shorter than average, but not sweeter.  The climbing doesn't look like much on the elevation profile, but we worked hard on long climbs.  It was also pretty hot by the time we finished.

Downtown Buffalo is very attractive.
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The day started with a visit to one of the better museums we've visited.  The Jim Gatchell Museum in Buffalo houses an excellent collection of artifacts and displays, recounting the history of human settlement in what is now Johnson County, Wyoming.  Jim Gatchell was a pharmacist who opened the first drug store in Johnson County in Buffalo in 1900.  He was an avid collector and historian.  The museum allows no photography of any kind, so I'll just share a few things we learned.

1.  Pronghorns are not really antelopes.  They are the second fastest land mammals, after cheetahs and can run at 75 mph for short distances.  The population had significantly declined in the mid 20th century, due to hunting and development.  Successful conservation efforts have increased the population and now there are more pronghorns than people in Wyoming.

2.  Prairie dogs are related to squirrels and are considered pests by ranchers.  Trapping, shooting and poisoning have decreased their numbers dramatically.

3.  During the cattle wars of the 1890's, cattle barons, many of them Eastern US or English investors who never visited Wyoming, owned huge ranches.  They used hired guns to kill small independent ranchers and homesteaders under the guise that they were "rustlers".  The killers received $5 daily salary and $50 for each "rustler" killed.

4.  Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire books, is from Buffalo.  His fictitious Wyoming setting is based on Johnson County.

After we finished our museum visit, we rode north on I-90 to Fort Phil Kearny, a Wyoming historical site.   On the way, we passed Lake De Smet.  

The photo is a little fuzzy, but the lake is so blue!
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I like all the colors in this view. We have seen very few irrigated crops in the last few days. We've been in ranch and horse country.
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Mike ObermeyerLove the picture.
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1 month ago

At Fort Phil Kearmey, we expected to see the remains of a fort built in 1866 to protect emigrants and Montana gold seekers on the Bozeman trail from Native Americans who were the current inhabitants of the area.  What we found was a small Visitors Center, one small wall of stockade fencing newly rebuilt on the site of the fort and lots of open land where the fort was before it was burned to the ground after it was abandoned by the US Army only two years after it was built.

The building with the green roof is the Visitors Center. The open space is where the fort used to be. The privilege of seeing this cost us $16.
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Before we left, we went back in the Visitors Center to fill our water bottles.  The young man at the desk told us the local water wasn't very good and to fill our bottles from their water bottle in the office.  Well, that didn't suit the woman working on her computer there.  From her tone, we assume she was the young man's boss.  She was very unhappy that he let us in the office at all because "No one is supposed to be back here!".  We apologized and offered to pay for the water to fill our bottles.  "No", she said, "it's not your fault.  He's new."  We went on and filled the bottles and she turned around and saw we had two each.  "FOUR bottles!" she exclaimed.  You would have thought we were stealing her 25 year old Macallan!  We were happy to get away from her, but I feel bad for the young man who was just being nice and offering us cold water.  No matter how many kind, thoughtful, helpful people you meet, there's always that one.

We didn't get back on I-90 when we left the fort.  We rode the rest of the way on "old" Hwy 87.  The views were beautiful.  We still had the Bighorn mountains to the west and gorgeous open vistas.

Montana is called "Big Sky Country", but it applies to Wyoming as well.
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Keith A. SpanglerBoy, that is beautiful!
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1 month ago
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Past the fort, we had a five mile climb -not steep, but five mile at 2-3% was hard work for us.  We stopped for a few pictures at the top.

There was water running at the bottom of this gully. I could hear it, but couldn't see it because it was so deep.
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Another view from the top of today's route.
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From the top of the climb. we had a wonderful 9% descent for about a mile.  I was concerned about how steep it would be, but it was a curving descent and really turned out to be fun.  Most of the rest of the ride was downhill to Sheridan.

There was more agriculture as we neared Sheridan.  This is the first hayfield we've seen in a few days.

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A few miles before the end, we stopped for a short foot rest.  The locals kept a very close eye on us.

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We'll be here in Sheridan for two nights, resting up for an 87 mile ride day after tomorrow.  I'm happy that we don't carry camping gear and do only indoor lodging, but in more remote areas it can make for an occasional very long day.

Today's ride: 39 miles (63 km)
Total: 2,872 miles (4,622 km)

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Teresa KillebrewWe are checking in on you all and cheering for you back in Grapevine Texas. We love reading your adventures, trials and of course the pictures take us right along with you. We pray you stay safe and have less headwinds. Keep up the ride! You all are awesome! Dan and Teresa
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1 month ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensHi, where do you go after Sheridan?
Racpat
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1 month ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Rachel and Patrick HugensWe're riding to Hardin, MT tomorrow, June 24, then basically following along I-94 for the next 12 days. We'll be in Glendive, MT on June 30 and Bismarck, ND on July 5. It would be great to meet up with you!
Kerry wrote to the O'Brien's - they are a couple of days behind us, so we will miss them.
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1 month ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithTo Teresa KillebrewThanks for your note. It's good to hear from you. We really appreciate the words of encouragement. It always helps to have people rooting for us!
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1 month ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Jeanna & Kerry SmithWe would love that our paths would cross, but thinking maybe will not work out as we are staying on Hwy 2, and coming into Minnesota at Grand Forks. We are in Shelby MT now.
Happy Travels, give a toast to the wind at the end of the day.
Racpat
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1 month ago
Simon ButterworthJeanna Kerry. We met as you were getting ready to leave Sheridan this morning. I am very impressed with your RV and the retirement life style you have chosen. Dry best wishes for success this year and many more. I will be following your progress.
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1 month ago