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.
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!
Not all days on this trip are as glamorous as the pictures might make them seem. Today was a particularly difficult day for me.
We woke up in a small stand of trees amidst cow dung, a location that we had chosen the previous night, because it was somewhat sheltered from the cold rain that had been pouring down. We had eaten dinner in the tent, ill-advised if you are bear aware, but we had been soaked and shivering and eager to get out of the rain.
This morning, the rain had stopped, but heavy clouds still hung in the sky. We packed up and set off, on pavement to begin. For a short time, the sun made an appearance, and we were able to shed some of our layers.
Week 6 of our GDMBR trip only featured one day of cycling, from Colter Bay to Jackson, WY. It began with a rest day at Colter Bay Campground with our friends Gillian and Grant. We enjoyed lounging and swimming at the Jackson Lake beach in the morning, but the solitude was soon disturbed by crowds of people, giant floaties and kids splashing around. At that point, we decided to retreat to our campsite, where we spent the remainder of the day relaxing, tuning our bikes, and hanging out with G&G.