July 18, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TranAmerican Bike Tour

Mike and Marilyn's
2001 TransAm Bike Trip
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July 18, 2001

TRANSAM 2001 > Wyoming

Crowheart to Dubois, Wyoming. (33 mi.) Mile 2899

More of the Winds

Last night, as soon as we pitched the tent, the wind calmed and we had a quiet night (except for the singing of coyotes), but this morning, as soon as we got on our bikes again, it was as if someone flipped on the switch to the wind machine. The combination of 20-25 mph headwinds and climbing toward another Continental Divide crossing reduced us to an average of 7 mph for several hours. Unlike a hill though, the wind feels like a personal assault.

Fighting headwinds

Roadside memorial to a motor vehicle fatality in the Wind River Reservation:
Indian spirituality combined with Christianity.
(note the wind is still blowing)

Scenery has been improving as we gain altitude in the Wind River country

Red rock near Dubois


After we had lunch and visited the Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center and a few art galleries in Dubois, we reluctantly hit the road again to climb to our destination at Pinnacles Campground, another 20+ miles. About a mile out of town, Mike pulled off the road and exclaimed, "I'm so tired of dealing with this gosh durn wind!" (Or maybe it wasn't "gosh durn"). He said he could take rain, hills, dogs, but he was tired of grinding away so slowly in this gale force headwind, he was feeling demoralized today, and wondered if we should just make it a short day again and try for another early start. After all, we're slightly ahead of schedule and "this is supposed to be vacation."

This wasn't like Mike to throw in the towel. I admit I usually feel pushed too by some unexplainable drive to rack up the miles so we can say we did it, but it didn't take much arm twisting this time, especially considering my sore black, blue, and red road rash today. We opted for another inexpensive motel since we'll be camping a lot in the next week, and just figure our budget is already blown.

When we checked in, the motel guy said this was the worst wind in quite some time, and that it often blows the other direction. Just as we settled into our room, the building started to shake as if a big truck was rumbling past, or we were having a mild earthquake. We looked outside to see that it was the wind, even stronger. Another thunderstorm was raging. Whoa! Maybe Mike was onto something. Within a few minutes, it was over, the sun was out, and everything was calmer than it had been all day. "Shoot!", said Mike. It had become perfect riding weather again.

Dubois storm

I try to make the most of our time off the bikes to catch up on this journal, a very time consuming project. Tomorrow we'll try to make it over the Continental Divide again, at 9,658 ft. Togwotee Pass, then on to the Tetons and Yellowstone.

Dubois plays the Western tourist town theme to the hilt.
This is the entrance to the Dubois Veterinary Clinic.

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