Saturday, 30 June 2012

Dubois, WY

The Wind River at Dubois
It is 122 km from Lander (elevation 1,633 m) to Dubois (elevation 2,115 m). If it was a quick and easy ride this morning, and it was, at an average speed of 19.3 km/h, that was only because there was little or no wind. Against a strong headwind, it would have been a nightmare ride.

Most of the way, I was following the Wind River upstream. The river did not get its name for nothing. The wind blows through this valley constantly. In winter, it prevents the snow from lying and keeps the shrubs and grasses exposed as a food source for wildlife. The world's largest herd of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep overwinters here.

I entered the Wind River Indian Reservation soon after leaving Lander and straight away came to a casino. Many Native American communities operate a casino as their tribal sovereignty limits the ability of the state to forbid it.

I cycled through Fort Washakie, noting the sign to the grave of Sacajawea (aka Sacagawea), too far off route to contemplate a visit. Sacajawea was a Shoshone woman married to one of the members of the Lewis & Clark expedition. She accompanied them and performed valuable services as interpreter and guide.

I paused for a snack at the Bull Lake rest area. A couple asked me about my trip. They were veterans of RAGBRAI. I confessed that although I had taken part in similar multi-day supported bike rides in Australia, the number of participants did not approach RAGBRAI's 14,000. In the past week, I have met an American who has taken part in the New South Wales Big Ride and another who once did a lot of cycling in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Crowheart Butte
I stopped at Crowheart to buy and consume a chocolate milk, a sandwich, and a Gatorade.

Sophia and Alex, eastbound
I met two more eastbound cyclists, Sophia and Alex. Between them they had the two most popular touring bikes used on the TransAm Trail. She was riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker and he a Trek 520. Both had Brooks saddles.

The last part of the ride into Dubois was through an area of picturesque red rocks. Today has set me up to attempt a major pass crossing tomorrow, the highest on the route apart from Hoosier Pass, which I went over a week ago.

1 comment:

  1. That american you met, name Charles? He was quite famous on the NSW BBRs.

    Didn't realize you had 3 passes, so after this last one, it's all downhill?

    In a few days you will be in 4 Jul celebrations.

    Good luck from -1 in Canberra this morning