May 31 - June 6: Wyoming

6/4 - Dubois (74 miles 2610.5 total)
there aren't adequate superlatives to describe the beauty of this day. from beginning to end, the weather, the scenery (OH MY the scenery!!), the winds, the traffic.....all a biker's dream.
back to the beginning: even tho' sari & i left the motel in lander at 5:45 this morning, we were (again) very near the end of the pack. it was 46 degrees on the time/temp...not really too chilly. as we began biking we watched the sun start bathing the hills in that warm sunrise hue. at about 4 miles we entered the wind river indian reservation; we didn't leave it 'til mile 60.
we're celebrating 2 birthdays today....darleene's, which is today, & judy's, which is tomorrow. today's sag driver, debby, pasted colorful, sparkly 'happy birthday' banners onto the back of the subaru. we all enjoyed being reminded of the day's celebrations as debby drove by us each time.
at the 20-mile subaru stop i took this picture of judy (center, with the teensy ribboned package in her hand--that's from debby). you can see the bright birthday banners, which debby moved inside when she opened the back hatch. other partygoers in the photo are, from left, lee, jackie, debby, sari, & patty fainer.
the weather this morning was mostly cloudy. in fact, for a while we watched dark clouds rolling along the tops of the mountains to our left. but those rains never came our way...or we didn't go theirs...& by late morning the sun was shining, the skies were blue, & the clouds were magnificent.
at about mile 43 we came upon a little store in crowheart (i think the store WAS crowheart). the restroom was clean & the schwann's toffee ice cream bars were tasty. a display case in the store held many pieces of beaded work done by indian craftspersons on the reservation. the woman behind the counter said that there are about 2700 indians living on the reservation.
beside the store there were about 10 ostriches cavorting around in a pasture. we went over to peer at them, & it turned out that they were as interested in peering as we were.
here i am bending over so you can see the ostriches behind me. duhhhh...obviously they're plenty taller than i am.
further west we started seeing a huge butte in the distance. it dominated the landscape for miles & miles. here's the marker that explains its history; the butte itself is to the right there behind the marker.
toward midday we noticed some winds, but they were at our backs. it was glorious to wheel effortlessly along the road amidst the most stunning scenery imagineable. sari & i realized today how much grander it looks & feels when on a bike rather than in a vehicle. on a bike you're enveloped in the's all around you. frequently sari & i stopped to take pictures, of course, but just as often to try to take in the wondrous vistas on all sides. today was also a treat for the nose; at this time of year the russian olive trees that grow abundantly in this area give off a heavy sweet aroma that pervades the landscape.
at about mile 59 we came upon a group of buildings at the foot of some majestic red rocks.
in the picture you see sari coasting down a hill amongst the rocks, heading for the brown buildings near the base of the hill. the buildings may be too small for you to see.
that's a new only 3 days...called the red rock lodge. sari & i stopped there to see if they had pie. half a dozen others stopped for burgers. what sari & i ended up with was the most fantastic fresh, warm, homemade apple strudel; it had chocolate chips & walnuts in it.
for much of the afternoon we rode in what locals call the badlands. often the wind river rushed alongisde the road. the tall cliffs were multicolored layers of purples, browns, beiges, & reds.
here's an official birthday portrait of darleene (she's 70 today!), left, with her close friend gerrie. they're both from the denver area & do lots of biking together all year round. notice the beautiful backdrop & the river at the base of the cliff.
we hated for today's ride to end, but finally we came to dubois. the population is about 900. our lodging is at the east end of town; we'll have to walk or bike a ways into town tomorrow for our meals & to do laundry & other chores. (it's a layover day.) we're staying at the chinook winds mountain lodge. what a cute place. the decor is western; inside walls, woodwork, & furniture are pine. our host cooked our supper this evening....2 big pots of chili simmered over an open fire back near the river, which runs along the back of the motel's property. a local fellow who works for the forest service told us about the wildlife & trees that we'll encounter while we're still in wyoming.
our next biking day is not tomorrow....& we're very happy about that. after 7 straight days of biking since our last layover, we're ready for some rest. carol tried to get some people to go horseback riding at 8 a.m. tomorrow & as far as i know, has one taker. most of us aren't anxious to trade sitting on one type of saddle for sitting on another.
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, or if you would like text-only versions of these daily reports e-mailed to you, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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