Rawlins, WY to Jeffery City, WY
Total Miles: 4257
Last night Gene, Terry, Sebastian and I went to a restaurant/bar/liquor store/laundromat to get some beer and the biggest steaks we could find. I didn’t have high hopes of finding a great steak at a place where you can eat, order a beer and do your laundry at the same but man was I wrong. I got a 16oz slab of juicy ribeye, cooked to a charred perfection with all the fixings for like 14 bucks. Best decision of my life. The decisions that came after that? Not so much. We’re sitting there finishing off our beers after we’d cleaned our plates when Terry looks over at Sebastian and says, “Hey have you ever had Fireball?” He hadn’t. So naturally we ordered four shots and I guess the bartender liked the look of us because they were HUGE and also free. Nothing good ever happens after a round of Fireball shots. Gene and Terry decided to head back to camp afterwards but the monstrous shot of cinnamon-flavored bad news put Sebastian and I into a heavy drinking mood. We headed down to a local watering hole, drank entirely too much, I got my ass handed to me at pool, killed a pizza from Dominos (Yes. Second dinner. It’s a thing) and got hopelessly lost before arriving back at camp. I’d call that a good night 🙂
I woke up this morning at 5:00 and I swear if it wasn’t for the fact that I had to pee so bad I would have turned my alarm off and slept a couple more hours. After I had peed and got my tent taken down I realized that Sebastian hadn’t gotten up yet. Not one to leave a soldier behind I proceeded to use my aluminum water bottles as a pair of bells whilst chanting, “Wakey wakey, hands off snakey!” It worked and he got up but he definitely was not amused. I, on the other hand, found the whole thing extremely entertaining. Once we were all awake, had breakfast and got packed up we hit the road. The sun was out, the air was cool and refreshing, the scenery was lovely and I felt like dog shit. I guess hangovers and early morning exercise are not the best of companions. My only saving grace was we were traveling at a relatively sedate pace and I was more than happy to forgo my usual blast of rocket sauce and plod along feeling miserable. The road was meandering ever so gently upwards and when we finally came to the top of the rise we were greeted with a sign saying we’d crossed the continental divide again. Say what?! Not even 4 days ago I slogged up a giant fucking mountain, gasping for oxygen and fearing for my life in order to cross the divide and now here I am crossing it again using basically no effort and extremely hungover. The entry I made in my notebook summed it up perfectly: “Disappointing continental divide crossing”
A few miles after the divide crossing the road starts to head downwards. Then really downwards. Then really, really fucking downwards. Sebastian breaks away from the group and starts picking up speed, I wasn’t really feeling like overexerting myself but then Gene pulls up next to me and says, “Don’t let that little Brit get away!” before taking off down the hill himself. I audibly sighed, silently cursed myself for being so damned persuadable and kicked on the afterburners. Now I don’t mean to toot my own horn but when it comes to blasting down a hill I am fucking fast. I use the rocket ship analogy a lot because it’s true, I’m a god damned rocket ship and once I get going I can’t be stopped. I’m pumping my little pistons at full bore, first I pass Gene then blast past that Brit bastard Sebastian and then James the rocket dies. Not literally but I suddenly got the overwhelming feeling that I needed to stop with this nonsense or I was going to throw up. Gene later told me that he clocked his speed at 49MPH so I must have been doing a little over 50 at that point, just imagine the splash back from vomit traveling at 50MPH and spraying over all the helpless victims in my wake. Hilarious, yes, but also gross and messy. I coasted the rest of the way down the hill.
After the vomit blast hill we landed on this mammothly large and long plateau of sorts, it was mostly flat and we had this not-quite-tailwind-but-not-quite-headwind-but-kind-of-a-sidewind thing going on and were able to blast through the 25 miles of it pretty quickly. At the end we climbed up this tiny lump of a hill and were again greeted with a sign proclaiming we had crossed the continental divide. Baffling. On the other side was a nice, long and winding downhill which was just the right steepness for me to practice a new cycling technique I’d been thinking about. I call it the Soaring Eagle. I’ll let the photo explain what it is but a note to my parents: It’s really not as stupidly dangerous as it looks. The panniers make my bike really stable. I promise. What an amazing feeling it is, though, just racing down a mountain as if you’re really flying. I had Sebastian take a video of me doing it on my GoPro which I’ll upload later when I have actual wifi.
We stopped in the “town” of Muddy Gap to use the bathroom, get some snacks and, of course, to get James a bottle of that sickly sweet, bubbly cycling crack. We’d gone 48 miles already and had about 22 left and I was feeling much better. I guess when you start your day hungover and feeling like shit it can only get better from there. Sebastian must have been feeling better himself since we pulled away from the rest of the group pretty quickly. A few miles down the road we saw 2 other cyclist heading the same direction and figured it was our friends Garreth and Joe from yesterday. When we got closer, though, we were pleasantly surprised to meet Josh and Heather, a cycling couple riding the TransAm from Denver to West Yellowstone. We road along and chatted with them the rest of the ride to Jeffery City where we promptly pulled in to the only business in town, the bar, and had ourselves a couple of ice cold before noon beers. I just never learn my lesson 🙂 The townspeople are extremely friendly and the local church is providing us with a free place to stay for the night complete with showers, bathrooms and, get this, real beds! Doesn’t get much better than this. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!
Too Drunk; Didn’t Read (TD;DR)
-James is terrible at pool but really good at drinking
-What the actual fuck, Continental Divide?
-Vomit comet downhill explosion extravaganza
-James can fly. Seriously.
-New friends and real beds