FLASH! – Lightning lights up everything in the tent like I’m surrounded by paparazzi and less than a second later – KRAKA BOOM! Thunder shakes me and I can feel the sound go through my body. I’m camped on BLM land with the closest people 7 miles away. Rain is pummeling the tent and I’m laying on my sleeping bag and pad. If the tent takes a hit, maybe the aluminum poles will shunt it to the ground. Just an hour before, I had decided to not ride 20 miles to Rangley for food – the overcast sky had turned darker and I could see the gray out of rain under clouds in several directions. I raced back to my campsite up 5 miles of pavement and 2 miles of dirt road with the first drops hitting my face shield during the last ½ mile. With the bike covered, rain fly tied to it and my gear thrown inside, I had made it just in time. Celery, a handful of trail mix and a cup of yogurt would be dinner tonight. Tomorrow I can get food in Vernal, UT on my way to Flaming Gorge.
This has been a fun day of riding into the
(click on this picture to see the petroglyphs)
… Going back to the last 3 weeks, I was at Robin’s much longer than I had anticipated. I was only going to stop and say hello, but it turned out there was a project for me to do there. Her father, who was a famous wildlife painter, had left several thousand prints of his work as her inheritance and I volunteered to photograph them for her so she could sell them on line. I set her up with an eBay seller’s account, PayPal and posted them on Flicker as well. We had to go to
Montrose every other day and fiddle with it on the library computer, but finally we finished about July 25th and I was ready to go. But, a friend of hers, Andras had arrived about a week or two before and he wanted some similar help. So, on the 26th I was off on my journey again, taking a scenic route to
Monday Aug 2 Dinosaur to
Waking up with the scent of wet sage, I packed feeling hungry. I was eager to get to Dinosaur and buy anything they had to eat. I had to rest between stages of packing like Survivorman conserving his energy to keep from boinking. This was a laundry day in Vernal, meaning that I was wearing just a tee shirt, swim trunks and moccasins during the process. I could charge my phone while I waited. After a quick stop at the Forest Service office to get a suggestion for a camp spot and I tore off to get to a cooler altitude. Too soon, as it turned out. I was just in time to get wet the last 2 miles before my camp site. I guess I should have taken the time to look at the museum in Vernal – lots of dinosaurs. Just as I got the tent up, the rain stopped. I was in a beautiful spot, though. Aspens, fur trees and flowers everywhere. Sorry, little lupine. I had to put my tent somewhere and you got squashed. Pollination should be no problem for the rest of the flowers, there were plenty of flies. None made it into the tent, but I could watch them from inside where they were trapped between the mesh top of the tent and the rain fly. I’m easily entertained.
Tue Aug 3
The tent fly was wet inside and out this morning but I couldn’t wait for it to dry. I need to ride about 220 miles to get to the next forest. I stopped at a scenic turnout and almost dumped the bike turning through some gravel on the road. Both feet were out like training wheels and if the bike had been heavier, I might not have been able to stay up.
I was at a pretty view of Flaming Gorge. Later I stopped at
I saw my first moose cow and calf in a field as I left
Aug 5 & 6 Thur Sheffield camp ground.
I stopped at the
Yellowstone Urban Wilderness was predictably crowded on my way through, with the camp grounds full and lines going into parking lots to see the geysers. The cheapest food to be seen at
There was an Old Time Photo studio there and I chatted with Holly as I waited for the storm I could see to the north to blow by. She recommended a for-pay CG that I went for. It was the first time I used my mosquito headgear as I sat at a picnic table eating an apple.
I nearly ran out of gas before
147 miles today, with rain off and on up US93 to
Aug 10 Tue West Shore State Park CG
I had a great ride up
Aug 11 Lost Johnnie Point CG USFS $13 for 2 nights.
I stopped by the Post Office in
Aug 12 Thur Lost
Rode Hwy 2 to East Glacier – another beautiful day. I was going to take the circle route and go through Glacier on the way back, but it was too cold, windy and wet, so I came back the same way and still caught a little rain. Back to the supermarket in
I stopped at Cherry Haus for the 3rd time. The first 2 were for 2 lb of cherries each time. Well, these were about the best cherries this side of
Aug 14 Sat Tiger, WA
Stopped in Sandpoint for library computer access, shopped for a frying pan in the thrift stores, but could only find a pie pan. It works with my pliers for a handle. I got a 7” kitchen knife and sharpened it on a rock after dinner. I stopped at Walmart for a spatula, ground beef, tortillas, taco sauce and eggs. I’ve used my backpacking stove only once on this trip and I thought I’d start. I found a good spot by a FS tree nursery and dump for chipped wood and branches. It smells like a cedar closet and there are few bugs. Dinner was quick to cook and I could hear bulls bellowing several hundred yards away. A deer walked past my site and stopped to look. I stayed still and she was there for about 30 seconds. Deer hooves make a distinctive clop. Eventually that night the cedar closet smell became a little much.
Aug 15 Sun Lake Wenatche 280 miles
Happy Birthday! I’m 65; feels like 64. I was going to stop sooner, but it was too hot and I had plenty of daylight left. Saw some deer by the road both alive and dead. One of them was a freshly killed fawn. L I treated myself to dinner out: jambalaya and Hostess cupcakes.
Aug 16 - 20
I’m staying with a fellow ARAMCO Brat, Danni for about a week. I slept in a bed the first time in about 2 months. It’s great to get laundry done and caught up on sleep and post my blog. We went to the Seattle Aquarium and then had to have fish and chips. My replacement phone doesn’t work right either, so after 2 hours with T-Mobile, they decided to send a new one.