In the few days since I have last posted, I have run into my first few speed bumps of what I am sure will be many to come:
After getting off to a late start on the 25th, I DID manage to make my first 1,000km and make it over TOGABY PASS. HOWEVER, along the way I managed to loose my sleeping bag! (An absolute necessity as it also snowed that day!). It must have happened when a very nice construction worker gave me a ride a couple miles through a heavy construction area on the pass ( I think he did it as much to be nice as to stop me from slowing traffic through the construction zone!). Well... when I realized what happened I sat beside a monument on the side of the road and contemplated my next step ( not in the best of moods I might add!). After about a half hour sat on the side of the road and kicking myself, for loosing a very essential and very necessary piece of gear; a very nice man by the name of Pete Peterson pulled over and asked if he could help.... I gladly accepted, having had enough of the rain and snow of the mountain. Pete helped me get in to town and get to a highway service station where I could get in touch with the construction worker to see if it stayed in his truck.... no luck. So... now what. It is getting late and the outdoors store is closed so I can't get a new sleeping bag tonight, I will have to stay in a motel.
Now, I may not be a religious person; but there are no words to properly explain my thanks to the religious community of DUBOIS, WYOMING.
Not only did the church pay for me to stay in a local motel they had an account at; the next morning, while at the outdoor equipment store in town, Fr. Eckley Macklin overheard my story and paid for my sleeping bag, as well as a few other things I was purchasing in full. Approximately a $150 bill!!( and he would have gone on to buy me half the store if I would have let him!)
After many thanks to the Father, I was on the road by around 11:30.
I may be out of the mountains now, but that does NOT by any meens, mean I am no longer surrounded by beauty. For the first few hours of riding I was surrounded by I landscape of a type of beauty I have personally never experienced before. A badland area, with massive red rocky hills and cliffs. ( I half expected that if I were to see any wildlife, it would be dinosaurs!).
Needless to say I did not see any dinosaurs, (or any other wildlife for that matter), as I continued on until around 7PM when I found a great little spot to put up my tent for the night along side MORTEN LAKE. When I reached the lake I found that I was, in fact, keeping time with the geese on their migration. The lake was full of Canadian Geese heading south for the winter...as have all the water bodies I have experienced so far.... My trip is, quite literally, A WILD GOOSE CHASE!
To continue on the love/ hate relationship I seem to have with the state of WYOMING; this morning when I woke, my rear tire was COMPLETELY DEFLATED. I pedalled on the 35km into RIVERTON (having to stop fairly often to add air to the tire).
When I arrived I went to the post office where I was having a map for my GPS sent (since I have been carrying the thing about for the last 2 weeks, with a terrible map, completely useless to me.)The lovely ladies at the post office promptly sent me across the road to the local newspaper ( the RIVERTON RANGER), who were more than happy to do a story on my ride! After a little interview I was directed across the road again to the bike shop (gotta love small towns!!). Here I got new puncture resistant inner tubes in both wheels to protect from the goatheads (large thorns in the area that seem to reek havoc on bicycle tires), I also swapped the front and back tire as the back has lost all the treads in the 1000+km I have now travelled. The total of my bike work was around $45, A price I am happy to pay to take care of what is not only my mode of transport but also my HOME for the next few months!
So, yet again I have been delayed, I will not be able to make it to the next campsite and there are very few obstacles along the road behind which I could hide my tent (quite desert like in high and dry Wyoming!)... So, my mission for the next little while is to find a place to lay my head for the night.
I will update again as soon as possible. Please keep spreading the word, donating and encouraging others to do the same! We are off to a good start, but the mission is FAR from over!