Miles: 59 miles
Climbing: 1391 ft
I was very impressed with myself this morning–in an attempt to beat the heat, I was up and packed before 7am! When I popped my head out of my tent, however, EVERYONE WAS GONE. So, literally 8 cyclists had beaten me out. Oh well.
As I was leaving I filtered water from the reservoir for the day’s ride, trying to ignore the really gross algae smell coming off the water……since I’d be drinking that water all day.
Like yesterday, today’s ride until the highway consisted of straight roads of nothingness. So much so that when I saw anything on the road, like an old abandoned building or piece of nondescript abandoned machinery, it felt exciting.
Approached the highway into Rawlins was 20+ miles of pavement. Pavement’s great, but this pavement had a big crack every 15ft or so, so it was 20 miles of “thunk……..thunk……thunk…” A little annoying.
Today was also HOT. When I reached the highway into Rawlins, it was a big ol, hot climb with cars racing by. Luckily the shoulder was good.
A trans-am rider passed me on the hill (our route crosses there’s in several places–you can always tell them by their skinny tires!). I thought, “ugh–most of their route must be on roads like this, no thanks!” The pavement is nice, but I wouldn’t take thousands of miles of whizzing cars and truck exhaust over remote gravel mountain passes!
Rawlins was…….a small town in Wyoming. Lots of long-term stay motels for pipeliners, kinda industrial and very hot/dusty. The city allows CDT hikers and Divide riders to camp for free (and use showers!) on the city fairgrounds, so that’s the first place I went. I ended up finding 5 CDT hikers taking shelter from the sun. I chatted with them for a while, which was funny. It’s definitely a different vibe than Divide riders, haha! The funniest moment was me saying my name was Lilli. Their response was “That’s your real name? What’s your trail name?” They seemed incredulous that bikers don’t do trail names. It was fun to talk with them and share/compare stories.
They actually all ended up heading out to hike toward the Basin in the evening—a choice I could learn from, given the heat. So I was left alone in the fairgrounds, kinda sketched out and with the knowledge that the sprinklers would come on at 12:30, so I’d have to camp in the bleachers or concession stand. Being alone, this option didn’t appeal to me too much, so I decided to ride across town and grab a site at an RV park.
I’ve done a complete 180 on RV parks on this trip. Normally I’d never want to camp in them–they’re usually loud, treeless lots full of RVs and no nature. But for a bike tourist, (who gets PLENTY of nature!), they offer electric to charge my electronics, showers, and laundry. They’re usually what I go for in towns–compared to a hotel, a tent site is rarely more than $15. Consider me a convert! (But only for bike touring, haha….any other camping I’d much prefer actual nature, obviously!)