Day 27, Tour 10 Laramie to Dubois, WY

A rainbow from the storm over the Snowy Range, as I head toward it

The forecast was for winds, 10-15 mph from the SSW. That isn't a great forecast for heading west, but I thought I could handle it. I got a good nights sleep in my motel romaine with the air conditioning turned off. In the morning, I dressed warmly to walk to get breakfast - it was chilly outside! back in my room after a good breakfast, Radar showed a line of storms moving east from Rawlins. That meant I was likely to get rained on, but I pressed on regardless.

I loaded my bike, checked out of my room, and headed into town to get some apples, bananas, and bagels for my days snacks. I had heard that there was a good place to eat lunch in centennial, 30 miles from Laramie and just before the road climbed into the Snowy Range. I still got enough food to do the day if that rescale was closed. I also got cash at an ATM. Then I headed out Cedar St to get to the road to the Snowy Range. When I rode over the railroad overpass on Cedar, I could see a storm in the Snowys with a neat rainbow. That was sort of a mixed omen for the day

About four miles out of Laramie to the west, looking at the snowies
you can see the small trees bending in the wind

Heading back into Laramie from the west

About four miles out of Laramie to the north, looking at the Snowies

Looking north at 287
You can see it turning to the northwest
After that turn, I turned back

I knew the head/side wind would make things difficult, but the actual wind was MUCH stronger than force and from the WSW rather than the SSW. I was riding almost directly into it and, after about four mile, I decided I was not going to be able to ride west today.It was easy and fast getting blown back to town.

I rode back into town and headed north on 287. This was a flatter, but not as neat, route. I could, sort of, manage going north. It was difficult to keep my bike on even a wide shoulder with such a strong side/tail wind and my shirt was beating my back as it flapped in the wind. Then 287 turned slightly west and The side/tail wind became a straight side wind and I could no longer sustain a decent speed. It was 60+ miles to the next anything on that road, and I wasn't going to get there in that wind. Getting back to town was an ordeal. Riding in any direction except east was not practical, and I didn't want to go to Cheyenne ;-{, so I decided to try to rent a car and drive to Jackson.

That turned out to be rather expensive, and took a few hours to accomplish, but by 12:30, I was on my way to see the Snowy Range the easy way. When I got to Centennial - a very pretty drive - I stopped at The Bear Tree Tavern for lunch. Ths place is famous locally - people drive 30 miles from Laramie to eat there - and lunch lived up to its great previews. It was certainly my best, on the road, lunch of this tour. During lunch it started to rain. Hard. I got well soaked getting back to my car, but my travel clothes dry quickly so it wasn't a big deal.

Heading up into the mountains in the rain

The pass at 10,850 feet

It was a long, wet, cold, and windy ride - even in a car! - up to the top. The temperature fell 15 degrees when the rain hit and - my car had a nice thermometer - continued to fall as I climbed. It had fallen to 40 when I reached the pass. The wind was whipping the trees along the road violently and the rain chrestomathy in waves against the windshield. If I had been riding in that storm, I would have turned around and checked out their hotel in centennial! The Snowy Range is a wet place and a beautiful place, but today was not the day to ride there.

The storm was mostly over by the time I reached the, snowy, pass in the Snowy Range and things dried out as I descended the other side. It was sunny again as I turned north toward Saratoga. I saw three solo male bike tourist, all on proper touring bikes - drop bars and four panniers plus a handle bar bag, on that section of the transam. Two were heading north, south of Saratoga, and one was headed south, north of Saratoga.

Driving north on the road through Saratoga

A storm out on the plains near 287

I rode north to I-80, the west to Rawlins, where I-80 was closed because of construction, and then north and west on 270. I stopped at Muddy Junction - nice, but expensive convenience store - for a snack and at Lander - nice town! - for supper. I was pretty groggy by Lander, so I had coffee with supper. That worked, but also interfered with my sleep last night. I stopped for the night at Dubois, a tourist town in the, beautiful, Wind River Valley. The scenery on 287 is pretty desolate until near Lander - about 250 miles from Lamar - and quite lovely and/or spectacular after that. There is almost nothing, other than that one convenience store/gas station between Rawlins and Lander. Jeffery City is even more dismal than it looks on Goggle Earth Street view ;-{, and there really is nothing else.

I did see one more cycle tourist between Lander and Dubois. He was turning into a rest stop - few and far between! - as I passed him. I wanted to stop and say hello, but that is, unlike when on a bike, difficult in a car travelling 70 mph.

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