August 1, Day 30 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
We bicycled from Lovell to Worland today. Toward the end of the day, dark threatening clouds hovered in the western sky and the wind picked up, bouncing us from side to side as we headed south. They warned us about the wind in this state on the Adventure Cycling maps…but they didn’t mention much else.
Wyoming doesn’t say much about itself either. When we pedaled through Montana and Idaho, we got the full scoop on the early settlers, but Wyoming doesn’t explain much about its history. Maybe it’s because so few people settled here.
There are only 563,626 people living in Wyoming. They rank 51st in the country, just behind Washington D.C. in population, but 10th largest in size. Undeveloped land abounds in Wyoming. Roads and traffic have not been a problem in the central part of the state as we bicycle south and east toward South Dakota. We are finding smooth roads, wide shoulders, and little traffic despite being en route to the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. When we stop at restaurants, we notice people headed to or returning from Yellowstone.
I thought tumbleweeds were exclusive to Kansas. Today, I saw them rolling across the road here in Wyoming. A couple of them got caught in my spokes and chain. It’s a good thing they are just dried-up, lightweight weeds.
We felt like we were on an open range. Although we didn’t see any buffalo or antelope, we spotted a few deer along the roadside, dead and alive. The buttes, bluffs, and open land are prettier than I expected. Some of the bluffs are streaked with a red tint, adding beauty to the many shades of beige. Tim describes the landscape in this video.
I like Wyoming! It reminds me of my years in Colorado. As we head east, I’ve seen signs for I-25, which tempt me to head south to Denver to visit my sister and friends. Changing our course to fewer mountain climbs and flatter riding was good for the body, but not seeing family and friends isn’t good for the soul. But then reality settles in, and I realize if I headed south, it would take many days to pedal 450 miles to Denver. So, we will stay the course in windy Wyoming, and hope we catch a tailwind soon.