June 18, 2001

6/18/01 Riverside, WY

50.8 miles

It's amazing. The winds can be gale force during the day, then they stop completely after sundown. After talking to Willem, who has a budget of $5-7 per day, I decided to check my spending. I thought I was in the $10-15 per day range, but it turned out to be more like $23 per day - ouch! So, even though I had free camping, I decided to cook with Willem and save some money.

Another mailbox

I should have kept that same attitude this morning, but habits are hard to break. Took time to eat a huge breakfast burrito at the "Moose Creek Cookhouse." It was a pretty fancy restaurant/bar, but the prices were reasonable and the portions huge. I had to struggle to eat the whole thing.

But, while I was stuffing myself, the wind was kicking up. And contrary to the norm, the wind today was a headwind or crosswind. The terrain reminded me of Kansas, but with more rolling hills. As if the headwind wasn't enough, about 35 miles into the day, I had a 3-mile mountain to climb. The wind was so bad, when I stopped to get off the bike, the wind would push it back. I think I have to put this day as one of the hardest.

Even the last miles into town were painfully slow because of the increasing headwinds. And it was downhill! Finally pulled into the "Lazy Acres Campground" in Riverside. They had a huge bell to ring if no one was in the office. Judy welcomed me with a big smile and a biker discount.

After a shower, I headed off to the town of Encampment, about a mile away. If I'd been here yesterday, I might have been able to see some of the "Woodchoppers' Jamboree," including the "mad logger chainsaw throw." Wouldn't that be unique! So, instead of flying chainsaws, I went to the "Grand Encampment Museum." The exhibits have a lot to do with the mining that went on in this area. And a surprise was the collection of original historical buildings that have been moved to the back of the museum.

Grand Encampment

At the recommendation of several town folk, I stopped by the Sugar Bowl Café (The Bear Trap Café was taking a day off because of the Jamboree.). A very young Britney was my waitress. What she lacked in experience, she made up in enthusiasm. She was glad the weekend was over, especially because she was in a melodrama put on for the Jamboree yesterday. And the food was great! I even had homemade French fries with the skins still on. Mmmmm.

Mostly, I'm just hanging out. Haven't seen Willem today, so not sure if he went on to Saratoga. The mosquitoes have driven me into the tent these last couple of days. I guess it's so bad here that the local store was collecting money for a "mosquito abatement program." I have a longer day tomorrow, but just hope the winds are more favorable.