Day 37, Lander, WY – Wilderness Boundary Restaurant, WY (20 miles past Dubois, WY) 95 miles (2677 total)
July 17, 2008
Time on bike: 9:23:36
Daily Ascent: 3916 ft (41 ft/mi)
Current Elevation: 7800 ft
Max: 42 mph
When I opened up the tent flap this morning I was peering at the sunrise over the town of Lander. The RV Park was perched on a hill overlooking the town and my tent site was right on the edge of that hill. I was on the road by 6 and peddling solo for the first time in a long time. I had my iPod going as I listened to ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning as I biked through more of what has become somewhat infamous sagebrush and rolling hills of Wyoming. I first stopped off at Fort Washakie which is located on Wind (like a road winds) River Indian Reservation, which was apparent by the townsfolk. An Indian man in an extended cab, Ford pickup greeted me as I parked my bike and asked where I was going to make small talk. On a side note, Sacajawea’s son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, has a memorial there.
From there it was on to Crowheart. The only thing in town was a gas station, grocery store and a post office. Coincidently they were all the same store… I met some east bounders who flagged me down shortly after leaving Crowheart. One of their riders was sick and they wanted to know where the nearest town was. “It’s 50 miles to Lander,” I told them and they dropped their heads. Seems like one of them may have gotten some food poisoning or something. I wished them luck and continued on.
Wyoming all of a sudden became beautiful. Just like that, out of nowhere. The rolling hills gave way to steep, rocky, canyon like walls where it appeared that a lake may have been and that gave way to red rock cliffs which reminded me more of Arizona than Wyoming. The town of Dubois (pronounced doo-boys) was at the 75 mile mark for me, so I stopped in for a 2nd lunch and to email. Dubois was originally called Never Sweat, WY because of its warm and dry winds. The postal service, however, found the name Never Sweat unacceptable so it was changed to Dubois. It looks like a nice little touristy town with a number of log-cabin like buildings and quaint shops lining the main street. I stopped in to a pizza/deli place and had a fantastic ham sandwich.
The terrain past Dubois was alleged to go uphill and it didn’t disappoint. I managed a mere 20 miles into headwinds on my way up to Togwotee Pass. Togwotee pass often receives annual snowfall of 25 feet in any given winter (with reports of over 50 feet). The road is often shut down for days. I was told that they are working on the roadway and dynamiting from 7-8pm and they close the roads down through the night for it. I’ll find out tonight what that’s like. I stopped 17 miles short of the pass and found a restaurant/RV park where I decided to put down for the night. They convinced me to take a small cabin for $20 to avoid the grizzly bears. I kindly accepted.