The morning started out with breakfast down town at the “Up In Smoke” café where we had supper the night before. Supper was poor and disorganized and breakfast was no better. Earnie went to McDonalds and had pancakes. It was probably a good choice. When we were in there on the 2010 trip it was pretty good. Probably new owners and I don’t think it was called “Up In Smoke”
The ride was actually 62 miles down Interstate I90 and 10 miles down a country road to get in to Gillette for a 72 mile ride. The first 34 miles was primarily down hill into the Powder River Valley. The paving crews had been busy last week and had just finished laying down 15 miles the night before. It was still shut to traffic but we wheeled our bikes through the cones and flew down hill on this super smooth road. This took us nto lunch. Leaving breakfast at 7:00 Am put me into picnic at 9:00 am. After lunch was a much different story as we now had a 27 mile climb out of the Powder River Valley. Admittedly it was all 1-2% being the interstate. However it was now into the 90’s and it was a long grind. Once we had climbed out of the valley we got on a back road where there was a series of rollers. I had eaten some raw cucumbers at lunch and they didn’t sit very well, so lesson learned. Ken C and I rolled into camp first and second at 12:35Am. Greg was still getting set up so we went for MacDonald’s.
The ride down the interstate reminded me of the Crossroads trip. Hot and down a boring interstate.
Other gossip is that one of the coast to coast riders crashed for the second time. I don’t think she was hurt but going down is never good. Ed W was riding to day and volunteered to guide this one rider who was squeamish about riding the interstate. They leave the restaurant and Ed takes the wrong exit and heads west instead of east. The scary part is Ed is going to take over as one of the routers in a couple of weeks. YIKES!. Final gossip it that a coast to coast rider from 2012 has joined us. She crashed on this ride 2 years ago and broke her collar bone. So she has come back to finish her journey. The crew took her out to where she crashed and she rode in. I talked to her and she said it must be a record time as it took her 2years 4 hours to make the 72 miles.
Tomorrow is a short day into Devils Tower. Although I haven’t seen the route sheet it is billed at 68 miles and 2240 ft of climb.