A Monologue with the Æther

A Bicycle Odyssey

Day Sixty: Monday 27 August 1990

Lander, WY to Rock Springs, WY

A long, long, grueling day, climbing over 4000 ft into the wind, this ride is the hardest, longest ride I’ve done to date. The west side of the Great Divide is a let down. The terrain plateaus. All the climbing has no payoff of easy downhill riding. My left knee hurts. I strained it climbing into the wind, pushing my weight, my baggage’s weight, and my bike’s weight up.

In the Green River Basin, I have no sense of progress. The terrain is rolling and arid. My knee hurts. I haven’t seen a vehicle since crossing from the eastern watershed to the western watershed. My knee hurts. The sun is going down, and I have absolutely no sense of how much farther until I hit Farson, Wyoming. From Farson, it’s another 8 miles to what was then Big Sandy State Recreation Area around the Big Sandy Reservoir.

I hear a vehicle approaching from behind me. My knee hurts. I stop and wait. It’s a white pickup truck. I stick my thumb out. The truck stops. It contains 3 generations of a family: dad, granddad, and son. They offer me a lift. They’ve been out hunting as it is antelope season. Since I’m in the bed of the truck, I’m thankful that their day’s hunting was unsuccessful.

Ten minutes later in Farson, they stop. There’s nothing in Farson except a general store, and sun’s going down. I’m tired, sore, hungry, and my knee hurts. I accept the ride to Rock Springs, Wyoming. The motel where they’re based is cheap, clean, and has vacancies. There’s a decent diner adjacent.

I’m guessing that from the point where I hitched was 8 to 10 miles from Farson, so that would’ve been another 16 to 18 miles to reach the recreation area with no guarantee of a camp site or shower. I don’t regret my decision to flag a ride.