Agony and Ecstasy

Riding across Wyoming is like that, periods of unbelievable riding and sections of long, straight,  boring and hot slogging. The highlights are the Big Horn Mountains and the Chief Joseph Highway. The lowlights are the stretch from Gillette to Sheridan and the Big Horn Basin on the west side of the climb up and over. Fortunately, the good offsets the bad and the final riding was Chief Joseph.

The day started at Devil’s Tower. I sat outside of my tent after dinner last night and watched the lights of three climbers still descending after 10:00pm. My camp neighbors with the Teardrop trailer from Wausau had been on the ranger hike in the morning and said climbers were not allowed to stay on the tower overnight. Pretty spooky to climb in the dark with lightning in the area.

Sunset on the Tower. Trust me, there are three lights on this face.


I got up at 5:20am, just in time to see the grandpa/son campers across from me finish packing and leave. Grandpa was checking the oil on the car. The teenager didn’t look too enthused. On to the day’s ride.

The Big Horn climb outside of Sheridan is great, unless you’re stuck behind a CruiseAmerica (CurseofAmarica) rented RV… ugh. I had to pull over and sit for several minutes to let him l poke on up. Then, the riding was wonderful and the view back inspiring.


The backside was a step 10% grade down to the basin. A real brake fryer for those not experienced in mountain driving. Runaway truck turnouts for the unfortunate or incompetent.
The basin… say no more.


The Chief Joseph Highway drops you down just East of the northwest entrance to Jellystone Park. I’m skipping Yellowstone this trip because of time and the Summer madness.

On my way down, there was a truck with his flashers on stopped. I slowed to pass and saw why be was stopped, there was what I assumed to be a grizzly jumping up and down about 30 yards down the sloping shoulder. I didn’t stop to gawk. There were signs all along the road advising that this is grizzly country.

I passed the first campground that had only one lonely guy and picked a campground that was closer to civilization and had other campers, Hunter’s Peak. I had a great site next to the river, with a view and, the hosts gave me free firewood. The price was actually that they stopped to talk to me every ten minutes. Apparently I’m very likable, at least to elderly hosts.


No cell service here, so this posting is delayed.

Tomorrow, another highlight, the Bleartooth Highway. Can’t wait.


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