Climbing: 4570 ft
Full disclosure, this is the third time I’ve started this post and lost it because WordPress is being annoying, so forgive me if the details seem glossed over.
I managed to get moving from the RV park in Boulder very early (for me)—I was out and on the road by 7! Hotter days have had me wanting to beat the sun a little, but it turns out this day didn’t need it—it was overcast and drizzly all morning.
I grabbed a bfast of coffee and hostess snacks at the gas station and headed out.
Although I hadn’t technically entered the famously-remote Great Divide Basin, this section of the ride was certainly remote. The southernmost foothills of the Wind River range stretched out into desert-like scrubland, with interesting rock formations. Short stubby trees were occasionally present, but it was mostly shrubby sage on rolling hills as far as the eye could see.
The morning’s ride was lovely, though kind of sneakily climby, with lots of rolling hills. When the sun came out, unrelenting, I got a bit grumpy, which has been my MO this trip.
About 25 miles from Atlantic City, WY, I encountered a first: women cyclists! Traveling without men! There were two women from Canada, and one from Helena, who had met up and were traveling together. I was excited to meet them! We rode sorta-together along more rollers (some with AWFUL washboard), and faced a couple miles of nasty headwind.
My original plan had been to get into Atlantic City and stop, and the last few miles were toughhhhhh (mostly ‘cause I hadn’t had enough food or water all day—-a big touring no-no of mine). I limped up the last 3 steep climbs into Atlantic City and got some food at the only place in the tiny cowboy town.
I felt TONS better after eating, and upon realizing there wasn’t a great/cheap place to stay in Atlantic City, decided to follow the 3 women I had met out to a campground about 10 miles outside of town. (I only agreed after confirming that it was mostly downhill, ha! My legs were toast!)
I made it to Sweetwater River, the location of an “informal” or “dispersed” or “wild” campground (I’ve heard them called all 3).
It was a sweet spot right on the river, and when I arrived I found the three ladies PLUS four other cyclists. After a few days feeling a bit lonely, I was pumped to have some camping buddies. Two of the guys even had the same exact red Kona Unit X as mine!
Also, at 86 miles, today was my longest ride EVER!