Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 22: Little Sandy Creek to Atlantic City, 42 miles

This day's ride was 42 miles. but I only rode 38. It was a super morning! We left the campsite after breakfast, knowing that we would start with a climb to the Continental Divide--after all, several of us had ridden up to it the day before while looking for our campsite. Loose gravel at the beginning of the ride made it a bit difficult, but soon we were on hard packed dirt, and this was my favorite day so far. We had some roller coaster hills between the first crossing of the great divide and the ride along the top... By the time I reached the top of the divide I was riding with Steve, Eli, and Brian from Texas (the little figures in the photos left and below). We all took photos of each other at the top, and Ray came by in the van to see if we needed anything. Dianne was in the van, having lost heart riding on the loose gravel in the first few miles.

We rode on the Continental Divide for a mile and a half--very cool. I wish we could have ridden there the rest of the day, but that's not the way the trail goes... We coasted down from the divide and got on to highway 28 for about 4 or 5 miles. There was a rest area there, and we stopped for lunch and real flush toilets and running water to wash hands. That was a treat!

Right after lunch I told Steve my sore leg must be giving out--I felt like I was riding on flat tires. He got behind me and told me I was indeed riding on a very low tire. I pumped it up at a pulloff on the highway, but it did not hold, and as soon as we were back on dirt road I pulled over and changed the tire. We are still in the high desert--no shade anywhere.

We rode into the South Pass City historic site--it is a ghost town from the mining boom days that has been lovingly restored. We really enjoyed walking through the old buildings, and there was a post commemorating the Oregon Trail, which our route follows at many points. There is a mine there too, but the mine tour is at 10 AM, and we did not get there until afternoon. When I pedaled into South Pass City and saw Ray there in the van I told him I was done riding for the day. He believed me, because when I got back after walking around the town my bike was on top of the van. OK, no changing my mind now!

We knew ahead of time that Judy and her husband had rented a cabin at Atlantic City, our night's destination, and Dianne and I had said that if another cabin was available that we wanted it. When we got to Atlantic City, a few mile up from South Pass City, the man in the bar rented us a cabin, and some of of the guys rented the last one. Or so we thought... Dianne and I were thrilled to have a hot shower and a bedroom each, but alas it was not to be. After showers we were sitting in the living room discussing the possibility of playing Scrabble before we were picked up for dinner and there came Judy at the door.... the man in the bar had rented us HER cabin! So we were evicted.

Dianne and I ended up sharing a bedroom in the cabin that the guys had rented--Eli and Brian from Texas shared the other bedroom and Brian from Kansas took the couch. We were shuttled from the cabin to the campground for supper, a great spaghetti and meatball dish with salad on the side. After we came back Dianne and I played a few games of Scrabble and then went up to our room. In the morning we were picked up at 6:45 and shuttled to the campground for breakfast and our last day of riding. We were ever so glad to have had a real shower and slept in a bed... this campground was very nice, but no running water again. Call me picky, but I like to have a shower after riding my bike all day...

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