As we mentioned before the trip, we carry a SPOT tracking device with us, both to generate a nice map of our route for family and friends at home to see, as well as for safety. If one of us gets hurt, we can use the SPOT tracker to call for help, allowing us to stay together instead of the uninjured person having to bike for help. Most racers who do the Tour Divide carry a SPOT.
On our very first rest day of the trip, in Eureka, MT, Chris and I received an unexpected gift. We were sitting in the laundromat, reading our books as we waited for the wash cycle to complete. The door swung open, and a head of strawberry blonde dreadlocks sitting atop a long-sleeved flannel shirt and torn jeans strolled in. He was carrying a basket full of clothing, and, as he scanned the room, he spotted us.
Our eighth week of pedaling along the GDMBR began at Sweetwater River just outside Atlantic City, WY, and brought us to Lynx Pass Campground, northwest of Kremmling, CO. We finished our push to Rawlins, WY early so we would have time to relax in town before resuming southward with friends Andy and Silvia. That final push included crossing one of the harshest, most unforgiving stretches of the entire GDMBR, Wyoming’s Great Divide Basin.
We acquired this tube on our last long tour, across the US. Chris’ bum developed sores very quickly, and he used excessive amounts of butter, stopping frequently to reapply and give his rear a break. Finally, he got a new seat in Buffalo, NY, and his Chamois Butt’r usage sharply decreased.
Week 7 brought us from Jackson, WY to Sweetwater River Campground, just south of Atlantic City, WY. We were fresh off of 5 consecutive rest days in Jackson/Grand Targhee Resort, catching up and hiking with friends and attending the wedding of our friends, Shannon and Pat. Afterwards, we planned to spend a few days relaxing at Rachel’s family’s cabin, west of Big Piney in the Wyoming Range. We realized it wouldn’t make sense to ride our bikes to the cabin with the limited amount of time we had before we needed to be in Rawlins to meet up with our friends, Andy and Silvia. Rachel’s Aunt Alli and Uncle Jim were very excited about us visiting the cabin (especially since I had never been), and they came up with the idea to get us a rental car. They graciously booked us one from Pinedale, WY for the 4th day after we left Jackson. Thank you SO much, Aunt Alli and Jim!
This meant we needed to hustle for the first three days of the week in order to relax for the following three before returning to the route. In Jackson, we sat at just under 1,500 total miles into the trip, so this week marked the beginning of the second half of our GDMBR journey!