Whew! Last night was interesting. I woke up around midnight to some crazy wind! There was lightning in the distance, as well as some light drizzle….but that wind!!
I sat up and tried to support the side of my tent, hoping to prevent my tent poles from breaking (even though they are already broken). We couldn’t stake down our tents because the ground was too sandy.
I held onto my tent for a little while, and I eventually got tired of waiting for the wind to die down, and eventually I decided to just go to sleep.
Welp. Hope my broken tent poles don’t break…again.
The wind blew all night long. I had my rain fly attached to the rack on my bike, so that helped a little…but the wind kept blowing sand into my tent! I even turned over my sleeping pad at one point to sleep on the other side…but I just woke up to sand being on that side as well.
This night is just not conducive to sleeping.
If I had to name today, it would be named, “Day of the People”.
We talked to so many people today. In the first few hours of our day, we saw 11 bikers. 11!
The first guy we met was Jeff, and he is one of the guys who runs the crazyguyonabike bike touring website! Super cool.
A few minutes after talking to Jeff, we saw this dude. We said hi and he literally barked at us like a dog.
I have no idea.
Shortly after that, we met his wife. I wanted to ask her why her husband barked at us, but kept my mouth shut. 😂 She fist bumped us when we told her we camped on the side of the road last night. Apparently some people she is riding with are a bit more high maintenance. Haha!
So rode on a ways and even crossed the Continental Divide for the 3rd time.
We made it to a gas station called “Muddy Gap”. Some bikers told us it may not be open, but we lucked out- it was open! And out front was a recumbent bike with a trailer. It looked so strange!!
As we were grabbing our daily gas station meal, a lunch for only the finest pallets, 3 other bikers rolled in. Two were from the UK and one was from New York.
Shortly after leaving Muddy Gap, I heard a meep meep from behind me as I was pedaling.
My friend Elizabeth!!!!!!
I met Elizabeth while attending The Journey Church in Murray. We became really good friends while working with the youth program. She lived in Papua New Guinea for a while doing mission work, and then she moved to Missouri, and now she lives here in Wyoming, where she is originally from.
Y’all, she drove 3.5 hours to see me today. One way.
She brought us snacks and water and Gatorade!! We chatted on the side of the road out in the middle of nowhere, and it was fantastic. I loved seeing Elizabeth. She is such a great friend and a great person to boot.
A huge thanks to Elizabeth for basically taking a whole day to drive halfway across Wyoming and back just to see us and bring us goodies.💚💚💚
Next, we stopped at Split Rock. It was cool stopping there because I have stopped there so many times with my parents on the way to the Tetons. It was strange to have ridden my bike there! Haha!
We didn’t go up on the rocks, but here is an old picture for fun!
We pressed on towards Jeffrey City. Everyone we have passed the past few days has told us it was basically a ghost town…and it was. Almost.
There was a run down cafe open, so we went in. We decided to go ahead and get some food, since it would be our only opportunity.
The man working was really nice. He told us his French fries were made out of real potatoes. He made sure to tell us about 15 different times. We talked to him for a bit and then I made another friend who decided to talk to me for the duration of the hour-long wait for our food.
Y’all, it’s not that I don’t like to talk to people, but I’m an introvert. I’m totally content to sit in silence. I love talking to people, but I start running out of steam when the conversation goes on and on (now if you’re a close friend, it’s a different story and I’ve probably talked your head off). Just as the conversation was coming to the end, he asked “the question”.
“Wanna see some pictures?”
He was a little to close to being in my “bubble”, but I tried to be patient and look at his pictures. I wondered if he had many people to sit and listen to him talk. So, just in case he didn’t, I listened.
As we were about to leave, it came a monsoon. A man and woman came in on a motorcycle to get out of the rain. The man had a friend who is currently biking the TransAm. His friend has walked across the country twice- one of the times he lead a blind man across the United States! To prepare for the trip, he moved to a new city and wore black glasses so he couldn’t see. He used a cane and lived like a blind man for a month so he could better understand the blind man he would be leading across the country.
This is his second time biking across the U.S.
As we were about to leave, another line of storms was heading our way. We had 20 miles to go, and so we decided to stay here in Jeffrey City at a church that stays open for bikers. We hated to not get our miles in today, but after our experiences riding into the storms in Kansas, we decided to play it safe.
On our way to the church, we saw the most giant ant mound!! I put a can of soda next to it to show how big it was.
We talked to the pastor for a long time. He was talking about how hot it was (85 degrees), and I told him our home state was really hot. He asked where we were from, and when I told him, he said he had family in Paducah and he was born in Madisonville!!!
We set up our sleeping pads and ate a good meal. We got to cook in the kitchen on a real stove! Oh, and I got to take a shower. My last -z shower may or may not have been 5 days ago…🤷🏼♀️Living the life of luxury, people! But honestly, this would be the life of luxury for so many people in this world. I think about that every day!
Here’s to pressing on tomorrow (and no rain)!