Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Breckenridge, CO to Hot Sulphur Springs, CO to Walden, CO to Saragota, WY to Rawlins, WY

Well the climbs of the Rockies seem a distance away now; the weather has become warmer again and we have descended down to about 7000 ft. We are in Wyoming now but are apparently still in the Rocky Mountain Range so still have some rolling hills but the difficult thing at the moment is the wind again. It is very fierce. So much so that I find it difficult to actually stay on the bike at times!

The last couple of days cycling through the tops of the mountains has been gorgeous and we've managed to do a little wildlife spotting. We've seen moose, deer, prairie dogs, chipmunks, coyotes and loads of antelope (apparently 50% of the Nations Antelope are in Wyoming)! Some have been very close just back from the roadside and we've even managed to video them too.

Breckenridge, CO to Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
Wow! Dillon Dam was amazing with not a ripple on the reflections of the snow covered peaks. Then down, down down and the temperature steadily rising before passing through the strangest volcanic scenery. The village of Hot Sulphur Springs amazingly has hot sulphur springs (116 degrees!) which smell of eggs and naturally we tried out. For the record sulphur does not seem to deter mosquitoes! Luc cooked Bangers and Mash for the group - went down a treat.

Hot Sulphur Springs, CO to Walden, CO
First thing was very chilly (layer of ice on tent!). Luc started the day resembling the Micheline man - wearing pretty much everything she had. Naturally the sun came and and we ended up baking. Lots of the pine trees had died thanks to a nasty beetle problem but this couldn't detract from the view - a truely beautiful day of climbing valleys to cross the Continental Divide (again!) at Willow Creek Pass and then downhill (ish) to Walden. We spotted our first MOOSE!

Walden, CO to Saragota, WY
A long day with high head winds, including a 2.5 mile uphill and then a 3.5 mile downhill (you still need to pedal a lot to keep going because of the wind). We passed the impressive Welcome to Wyoming sign but the states seemed to merge their landscapes into one another.  

Cruising the high plains of Wyoming - we spotted Coyotes, badgers, prairie dogs (like mere cats) and loads of antelope. Also saw real cowboys on horseback herding up cattle - tonnes of dust flying up into the air.  We crossed the 2,500 mile mark today - wowsers - but also had to contend with a fair amount of head/tail wind which didn't make things easy.

Saragota, WY to Rawlins, WY
Today we're in Rawlins, which was only a 42 mile day and so considered a half rest day. However, I have done absolutely no resting as this was one of my hardest days yet due to the winds! We have 85 miles tomorrow so I hope its a tailwind otherwise we won't be getting in until 10pm!

More big sky plains crossed to reach this little oasis in the sage bush grassland. Headwind is not pleasant, having to pedal hard just to stay in one place! We've completed our 7th map today, with only 5 to go...

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