Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Valley Of Warm Winds

When an eastbound and westbound biker cross paths on the Transamerica Trail, one usually always crosses the road to stop and discuss the trip, share information about the upcoming towns and sights, and talk about the highlights. There is usually a shared excitement about meeting someone else on this adventure. Occasionally though, I've encountered some unenthusiastic downers. Today, I met a group of rather sour folks. Of course, everyone is entitled to a bad day. But even bad days out here are pretty damn good. And they had nothing to be down about as they had 25 mile per hour tailwinds blowing them down the road. I figure these folks aren't long for the ride.

After my rest day, I was ready to tackle the ride to Dubois. On my day off, I fixed a slow leak in my front tire and bought a new rear tire, as the original was starting to shred. Russ called me last night advising me to start early because he faced strong winds on his ride into Dubois. The map should have been warning enough. I was going to be riding past mountains known as the "Winds" onto the Wind River Reservation through more badlands formed by the wind to Dubois in the "Valley of the Warm Winds." And in Dubois every other motel and store has "wind" in the name.

The scenery was a nice distraction from the fact that I was crawling.

Striated hills and buttes rose on both sides of the road and red hills created a stark contrast with the blue sky.

For the last fifteen miles of the ride, the road followed the winding Wind River. Vegetation by the roadside was prickly and in bloom.

In the middle of nowhere I passed a wooden sign for the "Trial Lawyers College." If the side road hadn't led uphill, I would have been tempted to investigate.

There was a contingent of westbound riders on the road today. Menno, Wayne, and Dianne arrived in Lander yesterday and were also headed to Dubois, as was Marc, whom I met in Chanute, and his biking partner Dennis. As we arrived one-by-one in Dubois, we gathered at the Cowboy Cafe for dinner.

Tomorrow morning starts with a thirty mile climb of 3000 feet and then a long descent into Grand Teton National Park. I'm determined to rise earlier than the wind tomorrow, if that's possible.


Greg T. said...

The "trial lawyers college" is probably Gerry Spence's program for plaintiffs' lawyers that he runs at his ranch. I know this because I had opposing counsel once that was unavailable for a month every year because he was up there. Probably drinking infant blood or something.

The Rider said...

Coincidentally, I was flipping channels in a motel room and saw a show entitled "The Most Amazing Log Homes." They were featuring Spence's house on his ranch.