Mileage: 79 miles
Weather: Low 60s to start. Low 80s to end. Strong winds at our backs to start the day. Very strong cross & head winds to end the day.
Highlights of the day:
After two challenging days with significant climbing, today’s route was primarily downhill. We had to lose 2000’ in elevation and the riders had lots of fun. At least until the winds changed…
It was the best of winds. It was the not so best of winds. It was a tale of two rides today. We were pushed by 20+ mph winds for 54 miles from the hotel to the 2nd SAG stop. One rider complained that the SAG stops were too close together. We said we’d work on that. Riders were discussing personal bests. Again and on what is supposed to be an “active recovery day.” Then the wind increased substantially and started to shift. For the last 20 miles, the riders were seriously challenged by strong crosswinds and then to add insult to injury, a stiff headwind for the last mile or so into the hotel. We’ll have more wind tomorrow but it looks like it should be substantially calmer – only 10-15 mph – and hopefully with mostly W’s in their descriptions.
The landscape has been changing rapidly over the past few days. Towering mountains with tall pines have given way to rolling hills covered with sage. Today’s vistas started with what I think are sedimentary hills. Lots of layers on buttes and hills. Ten miles down the road, it changed to red rock. Bright red rock. The pictures either look surreal or don’t do them justice. Eventually, the scenery calmed down to what we will be seeing lots of over the next several days. Wide open high desert vistas with sage brush, tumble weeds, and a small stand of hardy trees every once in a rare a while.
Tomorrow we ride to Casper. 120 miles. It is time again to rest and refuel.