Sunday, August 7, 2011

Where the heck are all the people in Wyoming?!?!?

Western Wyoming roads!
After a remarkably good night's sleep under a very clear, starry sky in Hagermann, we continued the rest of the way across Idaho on our way to Wyoming on Tuesday.  The central to eastern parts of Idaho aren't as pretty as the western to middle parts.  Colin mentioned the wonderful smells in the farmlands in the last post.  I was surprised as well by the variety of crops- vast fields of corn and sugar beets (who knew?!?), but my favorite was the fields of mint (mmmm, yummy)!  The day, fortunately for us, was overcast and much cooler than Monday, and we were chased by rain all day but managed to avoid actually running into it.  We made it to Hoback Junction, Wyoming and spent the night at the local KOA.  Part-way through the night, I vaguely remember Colin making a bunch of annoying noise and asking if I was cold.  No, I was perfectly snug in my sleeping bag, on my insulated pad.  He, however, got the non-insulated version, since he tends to run warmer than me, and unfortunately, suffered for it until he located his polarfleece and socks in the dark (it's only the second time in our many years together that I can remember him wearing socks in bed, just as an indication of how cold he was!).
Wyoming high altitude meadow

We woke up Wednesday to a gorgeously clear, crisp Wyoming day to start the our ride across the state.  I have to say, this part of the country is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in the world.  The Tetons and mountain meadows full of wildflowers make a spectacular backdrop, and the air smells amazingly fresh!  It's really what I always imagined the west would look like.  Central Wyoming though, is much more stark, with lots of sage, no trees, and very few people.  Knowing that our bikes only hold a gallon of fuel, which will get us about a hundred miles, we have our "auxiliary" fuel tanks strapped to the racks on the front fenders to increase our range twofold.  This, as we learned today, is not far enough in this part of the country.  We stopped every chance we got to fill up the tanks, but still wound up in Muddy Gap, WY with both of our fuel lights blinking madly to warn us of impending fuel doom if we didn't refill now.  Fortunately for us, there was a real live, open gas station right up the hill!  YAY!!!!  We pulled up to the pumps, only to see that on each of the buttons for the three grades of fuel, in varying states of agedness, notes that said, "out of order."  Awwwwwww, nuts (that's not actually what either of us thought or said).  Colin asked the man if they had any fuel and found out that they RAN OUT AND WOULDN'T GET ANYMORE UNTIL MAYBE TOMORROW, but we could ask down the hill at the fire station if they could help us out.  So, down we went, only to find a locked fire station next to a deserted RV campground.  There was a house between the fire station and the campground with a note on the door to ring the bell for service, so I rang the bell, and nobody came.  Oh what to do, what to do.  As we stood there contemplating our next move, a couple in a pickup drove up the drive and asked if they could help us.  I smiled as desperate a smile as I could muster (which wasn't hard with as desperate as we were) seeing that the nearest town with fuel in any direction was 46 miles away, and told the gentleman of our plight, assuming he was with the fire station.  I asked if we could buy a gallon of fuel to get us to the next town, and he said no, but ...he'd give us some!  So we followed him and his wife up the hill to their home, where he grabbed a gas can and gave us enough gas to get us on our way!  We offered several times to pay him, but he refused to take anything for it.  Thanks VERY much to our road angels, Jim and Donna Sheridan!!!!  Due to their kindness, we made it to Alcova, WY for a comfy and dry night at the Riverview Inn!

Colin wants me to add something about the bikes' performance.  They run very reliably, but really do not appreciate the elevations they've endured here, especially the climbs to 8,500 plus feet and the constant running over 7,000 feet, even on level prairies.  They do alright at full throttle but lug and complain at anything less, even with Colin's several adjustments. If we do get to Nepal, we will have to sort it our before we get there, otherwise, we'll be pushing them up the Himalayas. The chains are wearing out fast.

1 comment:

  1. Love the picture of the bikes on the high altitude meadow.

    Bummer about the chains. What is it with the Symba and chains?