Day 28: Rawlins, WY – Medicine Bow- Routt National Forest

Miles: 54

Climbing: 4252 ft

Y’all, today was mostly super shitty. Think LITERALLY FORTY MILES OF HEADWIND shitty. Ok, that’s exaggerating……it was actually 40 miles of *mostly* headwind so strong I had to pedal on steep descents, and occasionally the road would curve and I’d have a crosswind so strong I had to steer into it to keep control of my bike.

So, pretty shitty. I yelled the f-word into the wind a lot.

Sometimes, when you’re climbing and go over a big pass, the wind changes, but after every stupid hill I climbed today, it felt like the wind just got worse.

Also even though I’m out of the Basin, for a major part of today, the scenery was garbage. …..but that coulda just been my mood ‘cause of the wind. Some of it was ok. I guess.

Finally FINALLY, after about 45 miles, the wind KINDA subsided AND I started to see some trees. Yes! Real trees! Except for some sad little implanted trees in Rawlins, I hadn’t seen a proper forest since leaving the Green River Valley before Pinedale, so I was over the moon when I started approaching the stands of Aspens and pines as I entered Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.

I was so happy to be back in the trees (and out of the fricken wind), I honestly didn’t even care that it started raining on me, or that the end of my ride was a series of steep climbs and descents.

I had already decided to wild camp (the first time doing so completely on my own!) so I picked out a cute little spot during a break in the rain.

As soon as I got my tent set up it started pouring again, so I had to get a little creative to get dinner made.

Luckily, the showers passed again, and I got to experience the hilarious comedy of errors that is me hanging a bear bag.

So, here’s how you hang a bear bag, according to Lilli:

  1. Find the literal only tree within walking distance of your camp that is suitable. Think there are lots of trees that would work?? Think again. There’s only one, and its location is not convenient.
  1. Tie your rope around a small rock to weight it down. Make sure it’s a muddy rock that also gets you covered in mud.
  1. Throw attempt 1: You didn’t tie the rock on well enough, so you get your rope over the branch, but the rock falls off, and so does your rope. Retie.
  1. Throw attempt 2: Bad throw, it bounces off the branch and almost hits you in the face on the way down.
  1. Throw attempt 3: Oops, under shot it, so it goes careening through the forest and you have to chase after it, getting your shoes and socks soaking wet on the damp underbrush.
  1. 6. Pause to be annoyed at the million mosquitoes biting you, realizing that your bug spray is buried and tied within bear bag you’re trying to hang.
  1. Throw attempt 7: SUCCESS! Untie the rock and tie on your bear bag.
  1. Hoist your bag up at least 12 feet off the ground! Be sure to somehow piss off a nearby squirrel that starts making a terrifying sound that you didn’t know squirrels made.
  1. Tie the other end of your rope to a nearby tree. Realize you don’t know shit about tying knots and just hope for the best.
  1. Return to your tent. Discover the VERY SMELLY food item you forgot to put in the bear bag. Eat it.
Can you spot the bear bag?

Update, 1 hour later: this squirrel thinks if he makes this weird noise enough I’ll leave. WRONG, SQUIRREL! I have earplugs! Also, last night’s sleep noises included: a highway, frequent trains, and a HELICOPTER. Not impressed, squirrel.

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