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