Zen On Dirt

CDT Day 67 – Rain, rain, stay away. Racing into Pinedale.

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“We should go and take advantage of it not raining.”

“Hrrmph.” I rolled over in my sleeping bag.

“We can sleep when we get to Pinedale,” Scott insisted, getting up.

“Can we eat breakfast under the tarp?” I really didn’t want to get out of my sleeping bag. Or move for that matter.

“It’ll be easier to cook out here.” Scott got up, readying the stove for oats.

Drip. Drip. Drop.

“Ok. It’s raining. We can eat under the tarp.”

We ate our oats listening to the soft pitter-patter of rain drops. It was going to be a long 60+ miles to Pinedale.

As it was time to take the tarp down, it stopped. Time to go!

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The day was gray. Overcast. Threatening. I braced myself for rain as we rolled down the primitive dirt road that eventually turned wider as we descended. We filled up at the Sweetwater River again and climbed and descended a series of rollers as we made our way back towards the GDMBR via a small two-track road that wound through beautiful piles of granite.

I fell in love with the White Acorn Ranch and all of its beautiful horses. If I owned a ranch, I’d own one here.

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Then it was back on the GDMBR. Scott commented on how knowing a route takes so much of the stress out of it. While we still had 50+ miles to go to Pinedale, we knew the roads. We knew that there wouldn’t be a million down trees. We knew we wouldn’t run into private property. Barring mechanical issues or massive winds, we’d be in Pinedale mid-afternoon.

“You can eat whatever you want because all you have to do is pedal.” Finally, we were arriving to town not terribly light on food. Not bad for a three day stretch, though the ice cream sandwiches and double rootbeers in South Pass City definitely helped the calorie count. As did pretty much forgetting to eat during the first day when we didn’t want to stop because we’d get baked by the sun with no wind.

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These miles on the dirt rollers were my favorite when I raced the Tour Divide. Going backwards, they were equally as spectacular. Wide open range lands. Ranches. Few cars. Fast roads. The rain had made for a fast rolling surface and our moving speed increased rapidly.

Rain came down, but never hard enough to warrant jackets. Our speed would dry us out during brief breaks in the precipitation. It was glorious and fast road riding and we had a rolling dance party as the miles passed. We hit pavement without mud. 19 miles to Boulder. 31 miles to Pinedale. We were golden.

We rolled into the gas station in Boulder for a drink. Looking at the clock, I asked Scott, “What time is it? It’s can’t only be 11:30.”

It was. We’d flown. Moving average was 11.4 mph, which on tour with big and still relatively new tires, is pretty impressive. We drank a hot chocolate and started in on the final 12 highway miles to Pinedale.

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We took at look at Ricky’s (the GDMBR fat biker we’d leapfrogged with in NM) blog to see where he stayed. We seemed to have similar tastes in lodging. Good Wi-Fi, decent, but not too expensive.

We found the Rivera Bed and Breakfast. While the price was higher than we were used to, it has a home cooked breakfast that Ricky had vouched for. We called around and found nothing significantly lower, so we got the last cabin and settled in.

Cranking the heat to warm it up, we headed to the Wind River Brewery for lunch. The oatmeal stout was one of the best I’ve tasted, though on an empty stomach, incapacitated me for a while afterwards. Totally worth it.

The plan is a zero day as we have our computers and the forecast is for rain all day, then on into the unknown.

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