Day 14. July 1st.
Ladder Ranch to 15 Miles south of Rawlins,WY.
Day 15. July 2nd.
15 Miles south of Rawlins to 40 Miles into the Great Basin.
The Great Divide Route runs from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, NM. Along the way it travels through Montana, a sliver of Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. In 2016 we rode most of Montana and in 2017 we tackled New Mexico. We just wrapped up Colorado and hope to finish Wyoming and Idaho in the next two weeks.
Each state offers unique landscapes and cultures. I fell in love with green chiles in New Mexico and was thrilled Colorado threw them on wood fired pizzas. Angus cattle pepper the divide and a perfectly cooked medium rare half pound burger could always be found in a Montana bar. Each state challenges us differently physically and mentally. In Montana it was cold, late afternoon thunderstorms. In New Mexico we ran out of food and water while tackling rough, steep roads. Colorado brought heat at high elevations and busy roads. So far in Wyoming wind blows us around.
With sustained 20 mph+ winds and 30-40 mph gusts we’ve changed our strategy a bit. We continue to roll out by 6:00 am. This first hour of the day is the golden hour-low temps, little traffic, calm winds. As the day goes on the heat cranks up and the winds unleash. Yesterday, we rode within 15 miles of Rawlins until a 40 mph wind wore us thin. We called in our SAG vehicle (support and gear) and called it a day. We guiltily passed a few thru hikers and Divide riders on our way into town-unleashing trail magic on them to help ease the shame we felt for hitching a ride.
Today we finished the 15 Miles we left off yesterday and tacked on 40 more. We battled the wind for most of the day out of pride, stubbornness, or stupidity. After inching along at 5 mph on flat pavement, we finally took a lift 15 miles up the rode. We turned around and let er’ rip, cruising through the basin at 30 mph.