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Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12: Caspar WY to Riverton WY

125 miles

Wind. Endless headwind.  Abby called Luke, who looked up the wind speed online at Caspar, and it was 18 mph gusting to 27. The wind wasn't bad early in the morning (until about mile 32) but then kicked up. Depending on the road direction, it was hitting us from the 10 to 1 direction -- not quite dead on most of the time.

Did I mention it was 92 degrees?

Riding through Riverton a man on the sidewalk recognized us. "Did you ride all the way from Caspar? I saw you on the road earlier today!"   I was wearing the "K" jersey Abby designed, which was probably what he recognized.

Knowing heat and headwind were likely, we split into shifts.  Abby and I did the first 40 miles, Abby and Beth did the next 41, and Beth and I did the last 44. We're pretty tired after 80 miles each, and the Continental Divide is the day after tomorrow.  Beth is clearly the best of the three of us in strong headwinds.

Most of the small towns were more former towns, with small motels that had closed, gas stations with no pumps anymore, and closed stores and cafes.  The biggest town all day was Shoshoni, population 600. Shoshoni had a lot of places that were probably open in 2000 but not now, so I would think the population is considerably lower. Second place was Powder River, population 51.

Riverton's bigger (7000?) and has a long strip of motels of every type and chain. Things seem to have evolved into clusters of motels all together, rather than having them spread apart. There's a bunch in the small town of Lusk, a bunch in Caspar, and now a bunch here in Riverton. There's a big Indian casino here somewhere (Wind River Casino), which we won't visit.