The Western Grasslands

Well i’m not going to make it to Montana this time. Wildfires and my slow pace ensures that. So in Gillette, Wyoming i decided to head back to Denver via South Dakota and Nebraska. My plan was to be back by September 15 so i have one month.

The past couple weeks have been eventful. I left Torrington, Wyoming and had a scare. I was camping in a field far from any town or village. The evening was quiet and peaceful. But at 2:00 am i woke up to strong winds. So strong they broke one of my tent poles and my tent collapsed on me. So i had to get out and with 30 mph winds make an emergency repair. Not fun. Then i smelled smoke. In Australia they warned me about bush fires, which can travel at over 15 mph. I looked around but did not see any flames, but i was a little nervous for awhile. This was after riding 8 1/2 hour day and i was totally exhausted.

The next day i was wiped out. I had no energy. I was walking my bike uphill on bad roads into a headwind. I finally had to quit at 2:00 pm, after going only about 10 miles. Some county police saw me and gave me a couple of bottles of cold water. Nice guys.

I continued on through Lusk, Douglas and into Gillette. I was thwarted again by people with nothing better to do but tell me i was on private property had to backtrack. I had to go back 11/2 hours on tough roads because a douchebag would not let me continue.

Then i had the bad luck to camp near a railway. Trains lumbered past every couple hours, ruining my night.

One evening i got off a main road looking for a campsite. I got stopped by an electric cattle fence perpendicular to the direction i wanted to go. After an hour trying to get around it i finally just unloaded everything and crawled underneath. Not sure what the voltage is on those things but i was careful not to touch the wires.

I continued on through Upton, Newcastle and in to edgemont, South Dakota. I’ve had pretty good luck with the gravel roads. Very little traffic and pretty rideable. I’ve had good camping lately, too. No irate ranchers have escorted me off their land for a week or so.

The countryside has been wide open, with just grass and pasture. Hardly a tree in sight. I’ve been through Thunder Basin and Ogallala National grasslands. You can see for miles and feel like a speck of dust among the acres of grass.

I am currently in Crawford, Nebraska, headed south more or less.

Here’s some photos.

Very few liberals around here.

Nice campsite near Thunder Basin National Grassland

Coal train Northern Wyoming

I see a lot of antelope and mule deer. Usually they run away but this guy did not seem afraid of me.

What about bicycles???!!!

There was a grass fire near this road so the sheriff closed it down. I had to wait 20 minutes for them to get it under control. As I mentioned, you don’t mess around with grass fires.

I tried riding a new way but it did not work out.

Wyoming puts up these markers for people who have died in car accidents. Unfortunately, I saw many of them. drive safe.

A quiet campsite, northern Wyoming. Just watch out of the cow crap.

A back road in Wyoming.

Short clip of me on the road.

The long and lonely road.

A bit cocky, don’t you think?

Old Town, near Upton, Wyoming.

Replica of a house. We got it so good.

I camped here one night and it rained all night and most of the next day. Rather than get wet i just hunkered down on my tent and listened to podcasts all day.

when the rain finally stopped everything was wet or damp so i had to dry it all out before packing up.

Here i am after two nights in the rain. Not happy.

Ok, I didn’t think so.

A cool sign in Dewey, Wyoming.

Old house in the town of Dewey.

Sculpture outside of Oerling, South Dakota.

These horses were curious about me so i stopped to get their photo. I’m nervous around big animals though so i did not try to pet them.

That’s it for now!