Daily Miles: 84 Total Miles: 2001
Although we were in a sneak camp, with Matt and Lori, we moved into five star camping. Instead of the usual oatmeal, we had scrambled EGGS for breakfast before quickly packing up (leaving the breakfast dishes and stove gear for Matt and Lori to pack up) and getting on the road before 8:30.
We got a full 1/4 mile before seriously jamming the chain. Nice work. But a few minutes and some bloodied knuckles (Mike’s) latter, we were on the road toward Powell, WY. Like the night before, the road was flat or slightly downhill so we made fantastic time, getting to Powell (40 miles) slightly before noon. Matt and Lori had jumped ahead in the “Black Stallion” and scoped out Powell, so that by the time we rolled into town, they’d found a park for lunch. We had a great lunch with them before heading out toward the Big Horn Mountains. We had thought that the afternoon ride would be fairly flat and pleasant. Well, the first half was. We again rolled downhill for ten miles or more to Lovell, then we hit the foothills of the Big Horn and it was HOT HOT HOT. Rather than the beautiful green valley of Yellowstone or the snow walls of Beartooth, we were now in serious dry sand country without a single tree in sight for shade. Ugh. Matt and Lori had planned to jump ahead again and scope out the campsite before coming back to resupply us on the road, but we didn’t see them for several hours. Somehow, we had passed each other at some point. Matt and Lori went all the way back to Powell looking for us, while we continue plodding toward the mountains. Just when we were at our warmest, low on water, and headed toward what appeared to be some shade, Matt and Lori found us, laughing and relieved that they had located their “ducklings.” We gratefully gulped fresh water supplies, when I learned that they also had a ten pound block of ice in the car (initially bought to cool the beer). I quickly acquainted myself with my new friend, Mr. Iceblock, and we got back on the road, much cooler and refreshed. Eve so, the last 10 miles were still hot and uphill (7-10% grade). The campground turned to be off the main road and up another STEEP hill for two more miles. Luckily for us, Matt was waiting at the bottom (with camera and car). After snapping a couple of pictures of us grunting up the hill, we–including Talula–into the Black Stallion for a ride up the hill to the camp spot, where a running brook had a bathing hole with beers in it!!!
We don’t think that we are cheating since Matt will bring us right back down the hill to our prior high point tomorrow morning for us to ride the Big Horns. It just makes the night more comfortable.