76 miles (122 km) – Total so far: 2,722 miles (4,381 km)
The ride itself was easy as could be. Jess has said that there is no such thing as a tailwind, only headwinds and “I’m getting to be a strong cyclist” days. I had one of the latter, but actually, I don’t think it was just the tailwind. I am, in fact, getting stronger still. The rest day helped as well. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m now lighter than I was in high school. I feel like I could take out some ads online “Lose 20 lbs with this one weird trick”. The trick itself is to ride a bike 4,000 miles. It doesn’t really have anything to do with diet. This is what I told myself as the three of us devoured 6 cinnamon rolls for lunch.
Majestic mountains thrust into the distance still proudly wearing their snowy crowns. Closer in, rolling hills are dotted by trees and ribboned with waterfalls. Or alternately, a red, ochre, and pink cliff wall dramatically stands off to one side. These cliffs are hostile to even the hardiest of plants, but invite me to climb and clamber over them nonetheless. The pull is a palpable desire to dwell in the beauty that my eyes are drinking in. Sadly, this trip is not the time to linger here.
Immediately in front of me, the rushing Wind River crashes against striking red rock structures. The rocks are thin at the base, getting wider as they thrust several hundred feet into the sky. Atop all of this grandeur and beauty, anvil shape thunder clouds alternate with striking blue skies. The sun will sometimes pierce the edge of a cloud and shine down in brilliant stabs of light illuminating one feature for a few seconds and then another just a minute later. The light draws the eyes to new features every few seconds and some new beauty emerges.
The scene is timeless in the rocks, buttes, and mountains.
The scene is ever changing in the shifting, dappling light and the rushing tumbling crash of the river.
This valley is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced. I thank God for the chance to enjoy such an amazing creation. Here are a few photos, but they don’t really capture the stunning and grand beauty of this place.
We ended the day in Dubois, WY. Home of the Cowboy Cafe, which serves a mean piece of pie.