Newsletter - 2018 Archive

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Wyoming Wamble Permanent
Permanent Brevet #184, 210 km
Ride date: September 26, 2018
by Gary Baker

First some context. Many of you know that Barry Chase and I are restless randonneurs having sought out 400, 600, and 1000km brevets in Texas, Arizona, Oregon and California. As we were exploring brevet opportunities for 2018 Barry came up with a novel idea; he wanted to ride across the continental US from the NW to the SE to celebrate his impending retirement. His plan was to ride from Blaine, WA to Key West, Florida approximately 6500km. I think I asked if he wanted company. He agreed, but I said I wanted to keep my permanent string going. He said OK.

We left from South Langley on Sept. 11 in the pouring rain. What a start! Day 2 we crossed over Washington Pass, it was raining and cold (3C). From there we left the rain behind but for an hour or so riding into Dillon, MT.

We had planned our first attempt to incorporate a permanent into the route to be through Yellowstone National Park and had called it the " Dash across the Park" Starting in West Yellowstone. It was not to be. Approaching W.Y. from Ennis, MT. we had the crap beaten out of us, approximately 90km straight into a roaring headwind. We struggled to do 10kph. Once in W.Y the locals convinced us the "dash" was a bad idea.

Scouting the route ahead there was a 200+ km section from Thermopolis, WY to Casper, WY that looked promising. We had an easy day before from Cody, WY (of Buffalo Bill Cody fame) to Thermopolis, got the bikes ready and were early to bed. We were up and on the road before 7AM. Heading south from Thermopolis we saw herds of pronghorn antelope and this 500' high rock wall stretching for what looked like forever to the right and to the left. There had to be a way around this wall, I was wrong. As we got closed a vertical shadow began to appear, there was a deep canyon leading into it. This was the famous Wind River Canyon just wide enough for the raging river and a railway clinging to one side and a highway on the other side. Of course the winds were blowing down the canyon in our face. It was a long slow climb to the top of the canyon and the wide open plain above it. It was 50km to Shoshoni, the first opportunity to get water and food.

At Shoshoni our southerly route made a 90 degree turn due east and a 70km climb averaging about 2%. Not only did the direction of the route change so did the wind direction; we now had a scorching westerly wind and literally floated up the climb that was followed by a wind assisted descent into Casper, WY, a city of about 50,000 people that is a major service centre for the Gas and Oil industry. As we worked our way through the city centre Barry flatted. Distance 210km, A good time and place to end the ride.

It was a good day, my Sept. permanent was in the books. A beer was in order!

The next task was to find a place to ride my October permenent. Stay posted.


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October 7, 2018