Day 24: Green River Valley – Boulder, WY

Miles: 49

Climbing: 735 ft (ha!)

Ill just come out and say it: today was an easy day, haha.

I actually slept really well, with the sound of the river lulling me to sleep. I woke up, made coffee, and got packed up in pretty good time, and headed toward Pinedale. Of the 35 or so miles of the morning, about 25 were on a paved road with a sweet shoulder. Plus, while there were some little hills, it trended downhill all the way into town.

The Wind River Range

Though I was riding in a big open valley, I got some great views of the snow-capped Wind River Mountain Range to my East. These dramatic snowy mountaintops (almost) rival the Tetons, and the tallest peak–Gannet Peak–is only 33ft shorter than Grand Teton.

Trying to keep dust out of my face/eyes

I needed to do a big restock in Pinedale, since I only have convenience stores between me and the Notorious Great Basin (coming up in 2 days), so I got a bunch of food, ate lunch, and even grabbed a fancy coffee.

The last 12 miles out to Boulder, where I’m camping, were also on excellent paved roads–the first 5 or so were even on a separate cycle way! Nice! I’m getting spoiled by these short, paved days.

When I got to the campground, the super-nice owners let me take the walled tent for no extra charge (I’ll take any excuse not to set up my tent), and I got a shower and did some laundry–last chance for a few days.

I think this was actually sunrise, oops
Evening rainbows 🌈

It was nice to finish up my ride earlier than usual, which gave me some time to take stock (of the way-excessive amount of food I’m always carrying), and reflect a little.

Here are some surprising revelations I’ve had on the trip so far:

  • Mosquitos are maybe the worst thing on planet earth. I knew this before, but have never quite FELT it so acutely. I am covered (literally COVERED) with bites. They especially like to bite me (while riding) on my lower back/upper butt, where I guess it’s easier to get through my bike shorts? UGHHHH. Today I gave up and bought a full-sized bottle of the extra-DEET spray. I’m so sick of being bitten all day, all the time, everywhere. Pack-weight-watching be damned.
  • You have to take care of your lips. Again, I don’t know why this surprised me. When Arthur picked me up last week, I had been plagued for weeks with chapped, split, blistered, sunburned lips. It took 5 full days (and a lot of trial-and-error with products) to get them back to a semblance of normal. Now I’m applying SPF30 lip balm every hour.
  • When I’ve been biking all day, I sleep REALLY WELL, even when camping. Although I’ve always loved camping, I’ve never slept quite well while doing it–turns out when you exercise for 8-10 hours a day, it’s easy to get a good night’s sleep! I think part of it is the nice sleeping pad I bought (Thermarest NeoAir Lite), but it’s mostly just exhaustion.

Here are some surprising things I have NOT done yet:

  • Built a fire. And I love building fires! But, I haven’t camped in many areas with a lot of dead wood/trees. (In fact, in Canada, it was against the rules to collect dead wood). More importantly, I’m too tired and go to bed too early to stay up enjoying and/or maintaining it.
    Dug a cat hole. There have been enough pit toilets, gas stations, and public restrooms that I haven’t needed to. Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―
    (I can say this now since I’m out of their territory) SEEN A GRIZZLY. Amazingly, one of my greatest fears leading up to the trip never even came close! Although cyclists only a short distance in front of and behind me saw them, I never saw a single one!! There was even a mama and 3 cubs at a campground like a mile from me, but I didn’t catch a glimpse. ARE GRIZZLY BEARS A MYTH? Granted, by listening to loud podcasts and having my bear bell jinging at all times, I was making a ton of noise, so I probably scared off any lurking bear friends. I’m still in black bear territory for the rest of the trip, but feel wayyyyy less nervous about them. They eat a lot less people, per capita.
I’m carrying too much food.

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