Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour

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© 2001,

Day 31 - Wednesday, July 18, 2001
Gillette to Newcastle, WY
83 miles

The last two days had been really draining - with mountain passes you expect it and are prepared for it, but rolling hills and headwinds can come as a surprise. That's the one downside to doing this tour alone - you don't have the rest of the group to motivate you.

The whole day I'd be next to the railroad tracks, so it would be fairly flat.  In addition, I had a westerly tailwind riding out of Gillette. I had done about 35 miles by 11 AM when I arrived in Moorcroft, so it was a good chance to use the library to check e-mail. I found out a fellow co-worker had resigned, that was worth spending precious Sprint phone card minutes on a phone call.

The route generally turned to the southeast after going through Moorcroft - the wind was still from the west, which was helpful at times, depending which way the road turned.

Upton was the only significant town on the route, it was a good stop for a chocolate shake.

The scenery started changing as I approached Newcastle. There are actually trees again - probably because I'm approaching the Black Hills.

There's a plant in Newcastle that the locals called the "refinery". It doesn't look like a full-fledged refinery - work people, do you have any idea? [It is indeed an oil refinery, owned by the Wyoming Refinery Company, with 66 employees.  Information is here.]  The highway went around it, and there was a bike path between the highway and the plant. Certainly not one of the most scenic bike paths I've seen!

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