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A Comprehensive, Long-Awaited Update: WYOMING!

July 10, 2010

As you can see from the last post, our 40 mile Fourth of July Parade was awesome. Yes, as Lee noted in the comments, Janelle was without patriotic makeup and was labeled a communist sheep for the day while she rode in her very wooly looking gray fleece. Granted, it was difficult to get in the spirit for the Ride for Independence since we woke up that morning to cold weather and grey skies. Joey and I braved the dreary morning for our country, and it was a good thing we did because Rawlins, WY (our destination for the Fourth) didn’t have much to offer for an Independence Day celebration. We met up with our route friends Will, Joe, and John, went out for dinner at a Chinese food restaurant (the only place we found open,) and most of the riders crawled into their tents early to escape the freezing gusts of winds that began that night. Joe and I stuck out the cold, determined to see some fireworks, but only caught the top half of a display that was blocked by some hills. So, all in all our fourth was a bit of a bust. . . but we did have fun celebrating during our parade, waving to oncoming traffic, and singing patriotic songs ( classics like the National Anthem, Grand Old Flag, and Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus.)

The next day we rode with headwinds for at least 50 miles and finally pedaled into Jeffrey City, which used to be a uranium mining town with around 5,000 people and in 20 years has dropped to a population of 50. We found our route buddies at the one bar in town and tiredly decided to partake in a buffet dinner (some hot plates with chicken and cold hamburgers.) We set up camp near an abandoned Lions’ Club Lodge, and by the time we were in our tent and had escaped the swarms of mosquitos next to the lodge, Joey vowed that if there were headwinds the next day we would hitch a ride to Lander (our next destination.)

When we woke the next morning there were cloudy skies but no winds, and we were so excited to get to Lander that we wrote a song about all the great things we hoped to find there as we rode through the 49 degree weather *please see lyrics below. Dubbed ‘The Land of Milk and Honey,’ Lander was everything we had wished for and more! We had great coffee upon riding into town at Old Town Coffee, stocked up on Cliff Bars at a great outdoor store, did laundry, relaxed in the city hot tub, and had a tastey burger and local brew at the Lander Brewing Co. We had a hard time leaving the next day (especially after eating the never ending Cowboy Pancakes at the Ox Bow Family Restaurant) but we finally headed out and rode in beautiful weather to Dubois.

On the way we ran into four east bound guys who had stayed in Dubois the night before and camped in the yard of ‘Black Matt’ (so called because he usually wears all black.) They said he was really cool and suggested we try to find him. Riding into town, we had our minds set on finding Matt. As Joey stood in line at the local grocery store and struck up a conversation with the man in front of her, I came up and asked the guy if he knew anyone named Matt who hosts cyclists. He said, “I’m Matt. Black Matt? Did those other bikers tell you about me?” . . . it was magical. He offered his backyard for our tents and we met him at his humble house/woodshop. That’s right, 3/4 of his home was a studio where he builds furniture! We spent the evening talking and hearing about all the the things he designs (clocks, wooden sunglasses, tents for the roof of cars, tables, his dream house, and leather suits.) You can see some of his work at his website: http://www.matthewcampbelldesigns.com. Thanks to Matt we fell in love with Dubois and spent the next morning around town having coffee and rooting through a local thrift store’s free bin (for those who know my love of dumpster diving, you can
imagine how exciting this was to me.)

Now we have headed further north in Wyoming and are camping in the National Parks that fill the Northern part of the state. A change from the small towns we had been enjoying, we will write soon about our adventures in the wilderness. . . and all we have learned about protecting out food from bears.

Lander Lander

Lander Lander, the land of milk and honey
It’s 72 degrees and always sunny
They’ve got every flavor of Gatorade and Cliff Bar
Who’s excited for Lander? WE ARE!

Lander Lander, land of steamy showers
All the parks are filled with beautiful wildflowers
They’ve got bike shops and laundry mats galore
The grass is so soft you won’t mind sleeping on the floor

Lander Lander, is full of friendly people
Here is the church and here is the steeple
It’s so nice it will make you want to stay
You’ll be here till your hair turns grey

The only thing about Lander that is really such a pitty
Is that it’s closest neighbor is Jeffery City

Who’s excited for Lander, WE ARE!

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie Cushwa permalink
    July 10, 2010 8:53 am

    Bicha, you are badass, even with all that patriotism (HA)! Love from home, we all missed you last night.

  2. July 10, 2010 9:20 am

    GREAT !!!!!!!!!!! made my day , i’m following your blog. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

  3. jenny's mama permalink
    July 10, 2010 9:34 am

    AH, so glad Joey found her pirate shirt!
    and “Lander Lander” is to the tune of…?
    Have a great ride through Yellowstone – don’t talk to any strange bears!

  4. Joey's mommo permalink
    July 10, 2010 10:11 am

    Love those pancakes! Shock and awe and Jenny praying she can finish it! Glad you showed your colors on the fourth and wrote the next great American Folksong. Shall I contact Woody?

  5. bikerpat permalink
    July 10, 2010 12:04 pm

    Phil’s GMA quote of the day:

    “They are riding like the halcyon days of Eddy Merckx.”

  6. Janelle's mama permalink
    July 10, 2010 3:13 pm

    Love the pictures! Hope you have a good “wilderness” experience!

  7. bikerpat permalink
    July 11, 2010 5:04 pm

    Phil’s GMA quote of the day:

    “And these riders are going places.”

  8. Aunt Lynne permalink
    July 12, 2010 10:15 am

    My memory of Lander … snow on the 4th of July (1972) and doing all we could to stay warm in our not-so-well equipped VW van! Happy you all had better weather! (There is no global warming!)

  9. Jenny's mama's friend Ann permalink
    July 12, 2010 1:20 pm

    Cannot stress enough the importance of carrying face paint on a cross country bike trip!

  10. bikerpat permalink
    July 12, 2010 6:19 pm

    Phil’s GMA quote of the day:

    “Are they on the road to stardom, or are they lambs to the slaughter?”

  11. Amy Caldwell permalink
    July 13, 2010 1:14 pm

    Man, those pancakes! I want to bike several thousand miles and join you in eating them.

  12. Alberto Contador permalink
    July 13, 2010 5:50 pm

    Senoritas,

    I understand that you are doing well and having many adventures (actually, it sounds like a reality TV script that’s written itself). I have my own route book to wrestle with every night, so I’m not sure of your exact path. But if your are going to be in Oregon, you might want to read the article at this link for some tips on what to do. http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/travel/11headsup.html?8dpc

    More pinche mountains tomorrow for me–hope you are rolling downhill for a change!

    Ciao,

    Alberto

  13. ClaireB permalink
    July 13, 2010 6:09 pm

    ohinspiring! glad you were able to find some good patriotic free stuff. nice job jo. hey keep an eye out for these guys: http://bikeloc.org/ — theyre biking across the country organizing community potlucks, and i bet you could get some good free grub out of em! if you do cross paths, tell robert i say hi šŸ™‚

  14. bikerpat permalink
    July 13, 2010 11:05 pm

    Phil’s GMA quote of the day:

    “They’re dancing on their pedals in a most immodest way!”

  15. July 14, 2010 11:17 am

    Nice to know Jen who you are – probably Cathy’s daughter from Texas and, therefore, my cousin through your grandfather Miles — I drove in a Ford convertible with my closest friend, Marge, acrosss the USA after our Freshman year at college – mostly on Route 66 with sleeping bags, staying at tourist homes and stopping at any interesting point across the US – began at my home inn West Hartford, CT – Memories of that trip are outstanding – am very impressed that you are biking!! Enjoy Yellowstone! You look something like Nancy cox Todd Bernhardt, Miles youngest sister — good luck with your St. Louis venture – Letme know if you drive East – I’m in cleveland and can offer you and your friends shelter. Ann

  16. arthur permalink
    July 14, 2010 8:44 pm

    hey jenny, looks like a fun bike ride, still got a ways to go, but then, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! keep it cool for a day,

    have fun

  17. bikerpat permalink
    July 14, 2010 10:54 pm

    Phil’s GMA quote of the day:

    “For three riders, the questions were to have long since been answered. The quest for glory had long answered so cruelly in the past by close finishes and personal tragedy. Yet today, they would dare to answer again when the mountain repeated its relentless challenge: ‘How high? How far? How fast?'”

  18. jenny's mama permalink
    July 15, 2010 6:29 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR JENNY
    HAVE FUN IN MISSOU!!!!!!!

    WE LOVE YOU!
    XXXOOO,
    MOM + DAD

  19. July 21, 2010 11:20 pm

    Girls, are down sleeping bags hard to wash….?

    I think I’ve just wee’d mine laughing so much at your Lander poem!

    It was a pleasure to be in your vicinity for a few days and taking part in one of your famous art installation photos!

    I’ve checked with the Queen and your allowed to come to England whenever you like.

    Party On..

    Stu – Devon UK

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