Climbing: 2192 ft
Today was a short day, and honestly not much to report about the ride. Woke up for the last time in Wyoming, and quickly arrived in the famed photogenic Aspen Alley. I tried to take good photos, but it’s tough on your own. Beautiful though, especially in the morning light. Left the forest and got onto the highway, opening up to beautiful mountain scenery—the kind I had been missing in the dry hills of Wyoming over the past few days. This highway ride was also a thrilling several mile descent, with no wind, which was a welcome change from yesterday.
I finally descended into the Snake River Valley, which still had a “Wild West sagebrush desert” vibe. I passed into a new state: Colorado!!
Since it was a short day, all that remained was a gentle climb up to the famed Brush Mountain Lodge. (Haha jk, there’s no such thing as a gentle climb. This one was hot and rocky and miserable, just like they all are.) Northbound bikers have been recommending this place for hundreds of miles—-like the Llama Ranch outside Helena, it’s a famous place on the Divide for magical generosity and hospitality toward riders. I arrived around the same time as Kurt, Chris, Hillary, and Gaelan, the group I had met a few days back in the Basin and had been ok the same schedule ever since. We arrived to hugs from Kirsten, the hostess extroidinaire at Brush Mountain Lodge—she offered us beers, but only after we drank 3 glasses of water! 😂 I spent the whole afternoon chatting, relaxing, recharging, and eating endless wood-fired pizza that Kirsten made for us. The place was amazing, with beautiful views, doggos to play with, all the amenities that a divide rider might need, including snacks, medicine, and toiletries. People like Kirsten make bike touring a million times better.
I also took the down time as an opportunity to map out the next bit of my journey; or rather, the last bit of my journey. After much deliberation, I’ve decided that I won’t be finishing the whole GDMBR—finishing at the border would require higher milage days, no rest days, and having almost no downtime before going back to work, so I’ve decided to save the last section for another time, and fly home from Albuquerque, leaving the route at Grants, NM. I mean, I’ll still be finishing over 2000 miles. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯