WORST: Waking up at 5:45 which is when we were supposed to be loading the truck. Oops.
MOST UNEXPECTED: Seeing a fully operational B17 and B24 aircraft at the Gillette aircraft.
Happy 4th of July. One third of the ride miles are now gone.
Yesterday was just too hectic. Taking a cab into the City for dinner, eating, paying, and taking a cab back consumed the little free time we had. I did have a chance to jump in the pool at the lovely KOA (Krummy outdoor accommodations) to cool off yesterday and then took a shower after leaving a ring around the pool.
A Typical Day on the Ride: Wake up at 5:45 when everything is supposed to be packed. Grab my leg sunsleeve and put in on my arm, then switch it around. Throw on shorts after chamois cream, then jersey while sitting on sleeping pad trying desperately to get out the air. Squash sleeping bag into stuff sack, throw sleeping shorts in clothes duffel and zip it up, then zip it open again to get out shaving kit. Run to bathroom to do something, back to tent, throw sleeping bag, pad, pillow, fan and battery in camp duffel bag, then take down tent. Cram tent into duffel bag because there is no time to fold it neatly into its case, smash everything together and zip it up, carry the two bags to the truck, and then grab something to eat, in this case a week old banana because the food time was done by the time I got there. Put water in water bottles, put on sunscreen, put on lip balm, and then off for the ride.
The ride was actually 114 miles today, and was a lot of rolling hills. I basically rode by myself from mile 20 because I needed the right speed for all of the climbs, and the top four riders were too fast, and the next two riders today were also moving quicker, and the following riders were a little too slow for me today.
We ran into a lot of smoke today (see picture) which seems pretty bad when you consider we are riding for clean air. There are a lot of forest fires in the area. This was a mental day and I actually had a good experience especially when compared to yesterdays debacle. Just on the outskirt of Gillette is a huge open coal pit which I stopped and took a picture. and a very nice family came by and talked to me about the coal mining area (largest in the US and second largest in the world behind Russia). and then told me about the special appearance of the B24 and B17 aircraft at the airport just for July 4th.
The climber pouch is in the picture of the City sign which was the most spectacular piece of architecture in the town of just over 100 people. I did injure myself putting the climber pouch next to the sign (scraped my shin which bled on my leg sunsleeve, this may actually be a good thing because now I won't put it on my arm by mistake). Clif owes me bigtime for a new shin.
I included a picture of the road looking ahead showing an upcoming climb. At one point, we actually could see the crappy climb seven miles ahead, I know because I checked my Garmin when I saw it, and measured the distance. There is also a picture of a giant bucket and very very very large tire used in the coal mining operation.
Dinner tonight was at the County High School we are staying and was BBQ. We are sleeping inside (yeah, no taking down the tent tomorrow morning) in the main hall which is air conditioned.