Cycling Date: Thursday 02-July-15
Mileage: 120 miles
Weather: 60s to start. 80s to end. Slightly overcast to start. Sunny to end. Winds out of the north east. Not terribly strong but enough for the riders to take notice.
Highlights of the day:
Today was the longest ride of the trip, and the last of a nine-day leg, so everyone was a bit apprehensive. All of the riders were on the road by 6:30. This was another challenging cue sheet day: Turn right out of the motel, ride 116 miles, and turn onto a bike path that leads right to the next motel. The reason for the 120-mile day is that there is nothing between Riverton and Casper but some cattle, some antelope, a few oil wells, and a couple of tiny towns, complete with defunct stores. The road stretches out over the plains to the horizon.
Our second SAG was in the tiny town of Hiland, right next to its one store. It is a town with a posted population of 10. We increased the population by nearly fourfold. I think it was one of the busiest days of the year for that little store.
Hell’s Half Acre provided a strikingly different vista for those who made the quick stop. It’s a misnomer as it actually encompasses over 300 acres. It got its name from some lost cowboy who thought he was in Hell’s Half Acre, an alkali and bog area southwest of Casper. Confusing this place, that is northwest of Casper and a depression in the earth filled with sharp craggy rocks, with a bog? Not sure why. Perhaps a saloon or two were involved. Or perhaps the story was completely made up?? We did read the sign that indicated this site was used by Native Americas for hunting buffalo. That, I can say with a little more confidence, was not made up.
After the third SAG stop, it was 30 miles into the hotel. Time for the riders to spend a day off the bike and prepping for our next leg. We said goodbye to 4 of our riders tonight. We tried to convince them to call in well to work and just stay on the tour. Unfortunately, these people have other priorities – like families and work and other silly grown-up stuff – that require attention. Geesh!