Wutheringbikes Home -- TransAm Bike Ride
<< >>

Monday 26th July 2004

Paul, Ally, Danni and GuyWalden City Park to Saratoga (Lake Saratoga Campground) - 68 miles. Had breakfast, went shopping for breakfast and lunch - because there is nothing much before 50 miles are up today! Before breakfast Mark showed us his innovative aluminium can stove. A alu can cut in half and shoved back together with various ingenious holes for flames and fuel. It works apparently - no one has been blown to pieces as yet but there's plenty of time. Headed off, across the 'North Park' - a huge expanse of plains hemmed in by mountains in the distance. Mountains were streaked with snow in the distance, but it was warm in the valley. Eventually over into Wyoming, after a little climb to get out of North Park. Fast undulating road, up and down but with no headwind. We met Paul, a Canadian, with his two daughters, getting back into cycling by doing Jasper, Canada to Florida. Nice people to meet in the middle of the emptiness that seems to be Wyoming. The photo shows the nicely symmetrical group comprising Paul Comparelli, his daughters and Guy, just into Wyoming. Admire that sagebrush that's stretching as far as the eye can see. Eventually had lunch at the side of the entrance to the Presbyterian Skyline Camp - wonderful views for miles and miles. Mark and Wands caught us up just as we finished lunch. Headed on to Riverside - refilled water bottles at the little park (left off the main road in amidst the trees) at Riverside. Lovely to have cool water. Guy's tooth was hurting slightly - we may have to explore dental treatment in the US (expensive?!!!). Then a headwind developed as a huge storm passed us to the East - slow cycling over more undulating roads (big switchbacks - you can see about 2 - 3 miles of road ahead at a time) to Saratoga. Followed signs to Hot Springs. Swimming pool closes, on Monday, at 6pm, so we were just to late for that, but we sat in the open-all-hours hot springs. Delicious and very hot, with showers and toilet at the springs. Free too! Felt like a boiled lobster. Tried to find a campsite, failed initially. Getting dark - so we headed out to the lake - difficult in the dark believe me, along a bumpy road to the North of town. Pitched tent in the dark and went almost immediately into a deep sleep. Now, in the morning, the place looks a lot nicer than in a stormy evening - the thunder is mostly an afternoon phenomenon. We've just done our washing in the launderette and are about to head out to Rawlins.

Our philosophical question today was 'Are Americans just Brits with more space?' - well, we were inclined to think that largely they were - that the stressed nature of Brits compared with Americans (rural ones anyway) is due to being compressed into a small space. The same economy of debt, keeping up with the next door neighbours, second homes, house price inflation, bigger and bigger cars, is evident. Steve comments that Americans don't do sailing much in the states we've seen - just powerboating. This is, I reckon, the unconscious of the American soul (some American souls anyway!) - power, not oneness with nature. Where are the windsurfers, catamarans, sailing boats?

There's a short video [mpeg] clip (or try the ogg format) for today's ride - a 360 degree view of North Park, with Guy stationary in the huge landscape. It works in both RealPlayer and Quicktime, but Quicktime defaults to a too low volume, and you'll very probably just hear squeaks unless you turn the volume up!

Wutheringbikes Home -- TransAm Bike Ride