Saturday, July 9, 2016

Out of the Basin

Day 33 - July 9th
61.6 miles
Total: 1363.6 miles
Moving Avg: 8.9 mph
Overall Avg: 5.4 mph

We slept in.
It was glorious.

You would think that after the shorter day yesterday, we would be rested and rearing to go, but it seems that we wanted to rest. Besides, we had decided that 34 miles was all we were going to do today.

After breakfast, we packed up and had the late departure of 8:30. I was not in any rush, with an intended 34 miles, I wasn't looking to push hard. It was going to be our last day in the Great Basin, and I wanted to absorb some joy out of it. It's been beautiful, but hard.

Today had a perfect start. We rolled gently over hills of easy grade, slowly climbing to the continental divide (which we crossed twice). The hills were sprinkled with aromatic lavender. And our trail edged closer to the mountains of the Bridger Wilderness. Granite outcroppings sprinkled the hillside with the rotund boulders which felt out of place in the basin.

As the roller coaster terrain took us closer to the mountains, the presence of wind seemed to be non existent for us for the day. A gentle breeze felt periodically cooled our sun kissed skin. The best rest came from Little Sandy Creek, 22 miles into our day. I was a little low energy, and knew we had many hours to kill in our short day, so I convinced Apricots and Phil that it was time for a soak.

We laid our bikes down, kicked off our shoes and sat in the water. The initial shock was strong, but our bodies adjusted to the cool stream. We absorbed the relaxing flow for close to an hour before we rolling down the road. Twelve miles to camp.

When we arrived at our intended campsite (the spooky Buckskin Crossing of the Big Sandy River, with emigrant Graves nearby) we found the river was fenced off with No Tresspassing signs, and there wasn't a suitable place to tent. This was somewhat expected, as it was not marked as a campsite on the map.

So we went with our contingency plan. Push on to Boulder, Wyoming. Twenty-six gentle miles to a hot meal. While it was supposed to be gentle, it turned out to be harder than expected. The trail pushed up into the trees briefly, as if to hint of the mountains to come, before plunging back into the arid, shadeless basin we have grown strangely fond of. With that came the wind.

But, a burger awaited us in Boulder, so the three of us pushed hard against the wind for 26 miles (or 27 if you ask Apricots). Once here, I drank four large lemonades and two equally large glasses of ice water. We passed on the Rocky Mountain Oysters, and settled on tasty burgers.

A half mile full belly ride down the road to the RV park, and we got a flat tent site and a shower. Tomorrow we only need to bike 13 miles to Pinedale, where we intend to take a rest day.

Live life at a slower place.

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