Day 39: Working on our Tans — Gillette, WY to Devil’s Tower, WY. June 16.

Daily miles – 64. Total miles – 2250.

Today was an intentionally short day to try and make progress but also get the chance to relax a little. Neither of us had seen Devil’s Tower in person before. The first 30 miles we had cross winds and, at Moorcroft, WY, we turned right into them to enjoy long headwinds. These Northwesterlies were, I suppose, the winds predicted for yesterday. Just gotta battle through. We ascended into terrain with scrubby pine, sandtone canyons, and cottonwood riverways.

The riding was pretty uneventful – some really steep short climbs out of canyons. We played our little NPR game where we choose a word and think of words that start with each letter. Like HEADWIND with the category of 80s songs. So, they were Heaven, Every breath you take, A party, Diesel and dust, Wind beneath my wings(Chandra’s triumph), I got you babe, Nasty boys (Janet Jackson – you can always count on her in a bind), Desire. This game got us up all but the steepest climb where we needed to grunt too much to talk.

The skies today were full of fluffy cumulus clouds that looked like Renaissance paintings. Beautiful. Once the tower came into view, it was strange to see something so familiar that neither of us had seen before, and certainly it gave us a target to aim for.

We stopped in another “town” called Carlile which seemed a little smaller than Spotted Horse. But there was a store (and only a store) where we bought nice Ice Lollies and a drink to get out of the sun for a few minutes. But, when we arrived at the park, we found the tourist-trap “trading -post” had an ATM and, considering our pooled cash resources were less than $20, we opted to reload. They had “old style” ice cream cones. What’s a poor boy to do? It was, in fact, a two ice cream day. These things happen…

So now we sit at the campground, beneath Devil’s Tower. Under other circumstances we might do a route on the tower, or at least go the the base, or at least go to the Visitor’s Center, but alas. We are le tired. We did some laundry, and now it’s tome to eat and enjoy a restful final night in Wyoming.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but we already feel like crossing into South Dakota is crossing yet another threshold that makes our new home much less distant. But more on that as we approach. For now, we just revel in the sights, smells, and sounds of the West.

5 thoughts on “Day 39: Working on our Tans — Gillette, WY to Devil’s Tower, WY. June 16.

  1. Hey, I just discovered that if you click on one of the photos in the blog, it not only displays larger, but connects to a gallery of other photos. Very nice!

  2. Ops Center received 3 packages (1 big box, 1 smaller box, and 1 padded envelope w/ CD of pics) from you, plus a package from Howard Rice that contains misc stuff from your office (pair of shoes, a cute shirt, some mail, and 2 expense reimbursement checks). Let me know if you want me to send the checks to St. Peter…or if you’re planning to be in MN when we are actually here as well, I can just give them to you then.

    I rode my bike to a playdate at the park with Kaiya in the Burley this morning…maybe 1 mile (at most), a pretty good wind, and some MN hillls (3% for 200 meters)…and I’m pooped. You guys amaze me. I’m glad to be READING about your trip, but sure am glad I’m not the ones doing it! I’d never make it. (But, I HAVE given birth…) 🙂

    Thinking of you lots. Can’t wait to see you.

    -K,C,K,T VC

  3. By my count, you will pass through eight states on this journey. (I’m talking about governmental jurisdictions, not conditions of mind, body, or spiritual enlightenment.) You are now in state #6 (SD) with only MN and WI to go. Elevation of Madison is 600 feet.

  4. wow, the mighty river which bisects this continent has but two football fields of fall to work with? now that’s flat.

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