Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Day 25 - Thursday, July 12, 2001
It was nice to wake up to a dry and sunny - although a bit cool - morning. I was on the road by 8, bundled up for the downhill.
By the time I reached Wapiti for breakfast, the quick drop in altitude and the later morning hour started to make the weather heat up rather quickly.
There were two parties at the breakfast place. One was a transplanted California couple now living in Wyoming, with their California friend (from Long Beach I think) visiting them. I didn't have a chance to talk with them. The friend asked the couple if they missed the ocean - the husband said "oh yeah, at first, but you get over it". But when the friend went to the restroom, the husband whispered to his wife that he was lying on that point.
I talked to the second party - a local couple that lived within walking distance from the restaurant. They used to live in Naperville, Illinois (Chicago suburbs) and had enough of the "big city" life. The only time they go to the "city" is to visit their son in Georgetown, near Boston.
The husband then asked if I carried bear spray and a .44 magnum. Before I could answer, his wife had already deflected the conversation in another direction.
<gun rant on>
A case can be made for having a gun in a safe place at home for defense if you hear strange noises at night outside near your doors or windows. (other valid non-bicycling cases could also be made) But am I going to keep it in a holster on my chest while I ride and treat every stranger with suspicion? Or next to me in my tent while I sleep with one eye open - if someone really wanted to get me wouldn't they just wait for me to get on the bike and run me down instead?
<gun rant off>
Next was a stop at the Buffalo Bill Dam and Reservoir. This was one of the irrigation projects from the early 1900s to supply water to the towns in the area. Since the dam and the river occupy the only route through the hills, the road goes through a mile long tunnel - fortunately I was going in the downhill direction. In the meantime the tailwind had turned into a headwind through the gap - ugh.
I arrived in Cody - named for the famous Buffalo Bill Cody - around lunchtime and decided it was a good place to stop for the day, with the next town of any sort about 30 miles down the road.
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, with four museums, was a good stop. I found a place to copy photos from the digital camera flash card to a CD to mail home - after doing that I accidentally put the flash card into the wash - luckily it dried out and is working OK. The campground host let me use his internet connection to check e-mail for free also. Thanks again for all the supportive e-mails, sorry that I can't respond to each and every one personally.
There's been an old guy driving an El Camino (yes they still exist, particularly in places where they don't salt the roads in the winter) around town all afternoon with loudspeakers on top and longhorns in the front telling people to go to the nightly rodeo at 8:30. The campground host said it wasn't as good as some of the rodeos in the bigger towns, but better than most rodeos. I would have gone, but it was clear across the other side of town and I'd probably be fast asleep by 9 PM anyway.