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05/30/2003 Entry: "Casper,Wyoming"

We're in Casper at the moment, going to finish in Glenrock for the night shortly. Since we last updated, we've been in a parade, almost died because of headwinds, seen some nice terrain, and bough far too many bagels. I'll explain all of that in a bit but now for today. Jesse and Morgan woke up early (4 am) to get a jump on the wind. Since the wind wasn't gone when they left, Mike, Seager, Josh and myself all kept sleeping. Seager, Mike and I left around 7 in attempt to beat the wind at least a little. It was somewhat calm when we left and it stayed that way all 40-some miles to Casper. We got some bottom brackets tightened at Mountain Sports, a very cool store to say the least. There is/was a special on bagels at the local super market, buy 1 get 2 free. Since we need cheap bread type products to feed us we all did this. There are 18 bagels on my bike right now, they're kind of heavy, but soo cheap I couldn't pass them up. Hopefully the wind will stay down or at our backs these next 20 miles or so to Glenrock. Now for the last few days:

Dubois to Shoshoni
We were in the Fourth of July Parade in Dubois. Nice little parade with some cool fireworks that night. They're cool by small town standards, but obviously don't hold a candle to big city fireworks. Still nice to see stuff like that on the fourth. We stayed indoors and the Branding Iron Inn courtesy of the Shumaker's parents. Thanks! The next day we made it 100 miles to Shoshoni. it toook about 6 hours of bike time and we suffered quite a few flats: Mark-1, Seager-1, Josh-2, Jesse-1. All in all it was a good day of riding with tail winds for the first and final 20 miles or so. Shoshoni didn't have much in the way of food so we hadto buy expense pasta and sauce at a gas station. But worse things late in wait for us.
Shoshoni to Hell's Half Acre
Shoshoni had a nice city park to camp in, but we got soaked by sprinklers around 5:45 am and got a later start than we wanted because of it. We covered the heads with trash can lids and a few of our pots so we could at least get our stuff out of the way. It was a crazy morning, but the day itself was crazier. We had massive headwinds all day. I have no idea what the windspeed was, but we're guessing 35 mph. It took us nearly 7 hours on the bike to cover 60 miles. I think I averaged 8. The worst part of probably the whole trip, riding wise at least, was a 12 miles stretch of construction and was shaved asphalt, gravel, sand and lots of doom. Imagine the worst maintained gravel road you've everbeen on, now imagine riding a bike on it, then imagine being slowed to a crawl by winds and giving a thick coat of dust by passing traffic, then make it worse. That's how 12 miles and roughly 2 hours of our daywent. We found out later that when they're working on the road, they won't let people bike it. They have a guy with a truck and he drives you through it. A short ride in a truck would have been heaven on this day. We took a long break in Hiland, the only town on the route for the day with water, a store, or anything at all. We all ate lots of food and took naps. Three hours later we braved the wind again and rode the last 18 or so miles to Hell's Half Acre. If you didn't know, and none of us did, parts of the movie Starship Troopers were shot in Hell's Half Acre. We rolled in around 8 pm, and enjoyed the hospitality of the owners(and their visiting family) for a few hours. Despite the grill being off they made us tasty sandwiches, soup, and fries, etc. They even let us camp in the campground, which is really designed more for R.V.s. They were very nice people and the canyon next to the lodge/gift shop/resaurant is amazing. It's full of spiers and incredibly beautiful erosion. Josh should have pictures to upload at some point. It's also much bigger than half of an acre, not sure why the name is the way it is, meant to ask, but the friendly conversation made me forget. Oops. Definitely check them out. It is the second best thing in Wyoming, the first is Yellowstone/Tetons.
That's all for now.

Replies: Leave us a note! (4)

Dear Mike and friends: We are enjoying your log. we have covered much of the same territory, following the Lewis & Clark Trail. The mention of Locksa Lodge (where we stayed in a cabin), Lolo Pass, Chief Joseph Pass, Wisdom, and Dillon, brought back great memories!

However, we did it the easy way--by car! You are ALL to be commended for biking. It is a pleasure to know someone who is willing and able to take on such a trek! Jan and Don Barnhart (Friends of the Seager family)

Posted by Jan and Don Barnhart @ 07/22/2003 01:38 PM CST

Thank you Schumakers! So nice of you to give the guys a break. Sounds like they needed it.

I ache just reading about the gravel road...too bad you didn't know about the truck!

Glad you were so warmly welcomed at Hell's Half-Acre...what a trip. I can iminagine you have a million stories to tell that aren't posted!

Stay safe and may the Nebraska winds be at your back the whole way. We are waiting to see you for RAGBRAI..

Mark's Mom

Take care

Posted by Michele Fiddelke @ 07/07/2003 10:40 PM CST

i've been to hell's half acre before, and i also knew that the movie was filmed there, it's a really neat place, we took tons of pictures, and i climbed down in it, it was neat.

Posted by DJ @ 07/07/2003 09:46 PM CST

Thanks for the great journal entry Mark. I have been waiting to read your account of the journey, glad to see your entry. Imagine by the time this trip is over none of you will want pasta, peanut butter or bagels ever again. The fire is still burning here and it has become very warm, 107, but that is summer in the desert. Keep pedalin' and I will keep prayin'. Hugs, Aunt Nancy

Posted by Aunt Nancy @ 07/07/2003 09:29 PM CST




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