A Monologue with the Æther

A Bicycle Odyssey

Day Fifty-four: Tuesday 21 August 1990

Torrington, WY to Glendo State Park, WY

I get to ride my bicycle on Interstate 25. Why? Because there is no other reasonable route and little traffic. The interstate highway has the best shoulders yet, wide, paved. The scenery is brown, tan, and dull green, lots and lots of sage brush. I have been noticing for a while that trees only appear along rivers. This is truly alien terrain for someone who has spent his entire life to this point living in the wet, lush environment of the Atlantic coastal plain of southeastern Virginia. I’ve started riding with my shirt on; the lack of humidity means that humanity’s evaporative cooling system works out here and not wearing the shirt leads to some chilly moments.

This is the last time that I will camp on my trip. There was a fence to the right of the road with signs warning not to get to close or stick hands through because evidently American bison bite. There is a small herd at some point on my ride to the campground; this is the first time that I’ve seen American bison, or rather the first time I’ve seen them outside of a zoo (although I believe the ones in our zoo were really beefalo, cattle-bison hybrids).

I got up in the night to use the restroom. This is the first time in my life that I haven’t been surrounded by light pollution. I am amazed at how bright it is out. I look up expecting a full moon, but no it is stars, more than I’ve ever seen in person. I stare at the Milky Way for awhile.