Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | July 4, 2016

Day 22: A big push and a little flag waving

Day 22
Shoshoni, Wyoming
Monday’s mileage: 95 miles. Total: 1,205

This is where I leave some of the most beautiful spots on this journey — Oregon rain forests, Idaho high desert, lava fields and mountain climbs. Now we’re heading down, down, down and into the valley of heat, humidity, wind and weather.

I’ve had some hot days — more than 100 degrees, for instance, in Craters of the Moon. But over the past several days, we’ve been at elevations that have kept us cool, especially at night. But today I descended from over 7,000 feet to around 5,000 and things seem to be heating up. A little.

Some of that “heat” might have come from the fact that I rode 95 miles and was in the saddle and exposed to the sun for about 6-7 hours. Yeah, that’ll get you warm.

Riding near Riverton

We’re at the point in the trip where I need to keep my head down. There’s not as much to see, anyway.

But I’m now trying to push a little to get to Casper by tomorrow, so I need to have a couple of 95-mile days. There’s not much in between cities — Wyoming is vast and lightly populated, after all. But it’s got some spectacular views.

Red rocks as I left Dubois early this morning. The beautiful and winding Wind River Valley. The Ocean Lake Wildlife Area. But as wide open and spectacular as the scenery was (and all of these places reminded me in many places of the Westerns I used to watch with my dad when I was a kid), the riding I was doing meant I needed to put my head down a lot and just keep pedaling. There was a good bit of descending on this ride, but there was plenty of “roll” to this 95 miles, too. And so roll I did.

Melody spent the morning doing some video work (you can meet some of the folks we’ve chatted with along the way here). She also picked up a story about a donut artisan in Dubois that’ll make its way to the 55andalive website sometime in the coming days.

But she came along and delivered lunch to me in the nick of time. At mile 80, with my energy waning, she rolled up alongside me and asked if I was up for a little snack. We found a spot with some shade — a challenge all its own in this part of the country — and pulled up a couple of chairs. After devouring a sandwich (no pie this time) and some purple sports drink (I’ve always loved purple drinks!), I grabbed a bag of ice she pulled from the cooler and stuck it on my head. Cooooooooollllllll …

Ice head

The food and drink were appreciated, but having the chance to cool off at mile 80 was priceless.

No one, and I mean no one, has a better spouse/partner/collaborator/support driver than I do. There’s no contest. I know I could do this ride alone — as many have done before me. It’d be a far different experience, for sure. But I love that we’re doing this together. In some cases, because I get a “care-package” delivery on the road at seemingly the perfect time every day. More than that, we get to share the experience from different perspectives and with different view points.

We settled in this evening in a motel in Riverton and had our own little barbeque — steak on the grill, corn on the cob, etc. We didn’t set off any fireworks, but we are having a little love affair with this fair country of ours. America isn’t perfect, but it’s a damned fine place, in spite of what some people would have you believe.

For more on the ride, including Melody’s observations (they’re different than mine!), check out the 55andalive website.


  1. “Not perfect, but damned fine.” Yup. Sounds like you’ve hit on the very essence of this great country of ours already. May you again find a few shady spots (and cold purple beverages) as you tackle another long day on the open road …

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