Friday July 10
Our night at the campground that wasn’t a campground was not one of relaxation. The wind that normally subsides as night falls, failed to do so. Our tent was hopping and bouncing all night long (no sexual inuendos) and it kept Donna and myself from getting any quality rest. Lewis doesn’t seem to be phased by anything when it comes to sleep. I was also paranoid just a bit for whatever reason. This same thing happened to me 13 years ago when I was traveling through Wyoming on bike. Almost exactly! A night of little or no sleep in a wind racked tent accompanied by thoughts of a cowboy showing up with a shotgun and blasting away at my tent. Kind of hard to sleep when those thoughts go through your head. Fortunately the cowboy never showed up (then or now). The wind subsided just before dawn but it was too late for us to make up for our sleep deficit.
We crawled out of our sleeping bags around 7:00 and by 8:00 were on our way to the next stop down the road for breakfast.
Grandmas café was exactly 11 miles from Muddy Gap. This place was really disgusting. Grandma was probably in her late 40’s and only had about half of her teeth. This isn’t what made it disgusting but it paints a more vivid picture. Everything in the place was circa 1950 but not kept up. There was no pride of ownership in the entire restaurant. I don’t know who frequents this place as no one else ate there while we were present. The first thing I always notice about a breakfast place is whether or not they have real half and half or if they use that artificial crap. Grandma had nothing but the artificial crap. Her coffee left something to be desired too! The other issue I had was with the toast that came with Lewis’ omelet. It appeared to be buttered, but the flavor of whatever was on the toast was nothing close to butter and even margarine would have been a vast improvement over whatever granny used. I,however, had pancakes which were served with small packets of actual butter. So they do know about the concept of real dairy, but prefer to use the cheaper stuff whenever they can get away with it. Perhaps the most scathing reproach for the place came from a comment that I got from Donna on the cleanliness of the restroom. I didn’t have cause to frequent it but from what Donna said, I’ll be a better person for not having seen the filth in there. I’m giving this place another year or 2 at most before it folds up and goes the way of most of Jeffrey City.
We left grannys with the funny taste of margarine substitute on our palates. Yuck! With 11 miles under our belt we had only 33 more miles to make our destination of the day, Rawlins Wy. We decided several days ago that we wanted to spend some time in Rawlins and after pedaling over 80 miles yesterday, our ride today is an easy one. We are being treated to a Motel room in Rawlins courtesy of several people who work with me at the laboratory. Debbie, Vicki, Andrea, Wally, Lisa, Lori, and Bob pitched in and covered the expense for a one night stay at the Quality Inn. Thank you, Debbie, Vicki, Andrea, Wally, Lisa, Lori, and Bob. You’ve gone above and beyond what most coworkers would do for one of their own, especially considering what a slacker and pain in the ass that I am! I think I feel a tear coming on. Oops, it was just a grain of Wyoming dirt that got blown into my eye! If this gives anyone else out there any great ideas, then make sure you follow through!
The remaining miles were a bit tougher than either Donna or I had expected. We had to cross the continental divide 2 more times today but these were smallish climbs. And the wind was not a factor as we did the majority of our pedaling before noon. I think the long day yesterday just caught up to us. In fact we’ve probably accumulated more miles in the last 6 days than in any other 7 day period. So it must be just a touch of fatigue.
We pulled into town by 1:30 and immediately found our room. Since I was still hungry (I’m usually hungry quite a bit I’ve noticed lately) and a Pizza Hut was just a short walk from our room, we decided to hit the lunchtime buffet. We managed to get in just before they called it quits. We stuffed ourselves with pizza and salad and soda. This lunch also just happened to be a gift. This time it was in the form of a Pizza Hut Gift Card that had been presented to us at our bonvoyage party just days before we left. The Barkmans from Shelton are the donors. Bravo Kirsten, Eric, Joel, and Kara. Team Jackson thanks you wholeheartedly.
After our late lunch/early dinner, we retired to our room to watch TV and snack on some cheese and crackers and enjoy a cold beverage of choice. We had grand plans to do lots of stuff in Rawlins but we were tired, and Donna had a head ache and Lewis couldn’t care less as he had a television with cartoon network. Tomorrow morning we swim for a bit, take our time packing up, and follow this up with another easy ride of about 40 miles. When I was discussing our plans for tomorrow with Donna and Lewis, I have to share with you what Lewis’ response was when he heard we were shooting for Saratoga Wyoming; “We only have to ride 40 miles? That’ll be easy!” He’s been converted to a touring cyclist (although he’s certainly not had the tough road that Donna’s pedaled). The both of them are now sleeping and I’m about ready to call it quits as well.