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GDMBR Chapter 8

Steamboat Springs, CO, to Rawlins, WY

Leaving Steamboat

From Steamboat Springs, I had a short thirty five-ish mile trek to Steamboat Lake State Park. I'd never been there before and was really excited to explore!

The route took me through the tiny town of Clark, where I ended up hunkering for an hour or two to wait out a thunderstorm.

I like that the welcome sign just has a "?" for the town's population.

I stopped at the Clark General Store for lunch and ice cream, and enjoyed talking with and answering the many questions from people who noticed my super cool bike.

One of my favorite people there was a dirt bike-racing horse wrangler from the Bronx. We talked about living life as cats; living curiously and the ability to reinvent ourselves—nine times over, if we desired.

Steamboat Lake State Park

I made it to Steamboat Lake around 5:00p and it was so beautiful and pristine! How had I never been there before!?

I scored a spot on the water and ate two giant cookies for dinner, that I picked up from Winona's that morning.

Bad idea, as the rush of sugar meant I had restless legs all night. Once I finally fell asleep, I was rudely awoken by a flash of lightning so bright it hurt my closed eyes, followed by the loudest thunder clap!

Good thing I put the rainfly on that night... it continued to pour for the better part of an hour.

A minor detour

In the days prior, Divide friends were sending me route reports from the trail ahead of me. Apparently, the pass ahead of me still had knee-deep snow.

After talking with the camp host, who confirmed the trail conditions and added that what isn't covered in snow is likely very wet and muddy, I opted to take an official Adventure Cycling alternate route, called the Columbine route.

The Columbine alternative skirts the high passes to the north and goes through the tiny town of Columbine and the famous Three Forks Ranch.

Welcome to Wyoming

I'm not sure exactly when I entered Wyoming, as there were no welcome signs on the road I was on, but I did take a break to eat a couple burritos and sit in the shade in the Medicine Bow National Forest.

Here, I noticed the sign said Wyoming.

Lush forest to desert wasteland

I passed through some very beautiful areas of Wyoming... over the two days and fifty or sixty miles I've ridden so far, I've watched the landscape evolve before my eyes.

Total exposure

Day seventeen was another whopper of a day. I covered about sixty five miles and 5,000 ft of elevation gain. The second half of that day was in full sun exposure.

Day eighteen was only about forty five miles but it was also in full sun.

In these parts of Wyoming, there's no escaping. There are no trees to sit under when you're hot and tired and need a break. There are no bushes to hide behind when nature calls.

I literally got a sunburn through the tops of my cycling gloves and the back of my t-shirt today. Although not burnt, I also noticed I'm getting a tan through my SPF 50 sun sleeves and sun legs.

My first hotel

My wonderful parents treated me to my first hotel room of this trip! I just soaked in the hot tub, did laundry, am charging up my electronics, figuring out next steps and looking forward to a solid night's sleep!

For several reasons, I'm hoping to get a ride from where I am in Rawlins to Pinedale or Dubois.

So far, I've been unsuccessful. Tomorrow morning I'm planning to "work the breakfast area" to see if anyone's headed North and open to bringing me along.

Wish me luck!!!

Otherwise, I've got about three or four days of cycling through Wyoming's desolate great basin region; a rough 1800+ mile stretch with virtually no water and few resupply locations, meaning I'll be testing the heaviest load on my bike to-date (not to mention my stamina).

Video dispatches from the trail:

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