Sunday 18th July
Daily mileage 71miles Average Speed 11.9mph Ride Time 5hr58min
Total Mileage 2411
As we had a comfy bed we didn’t leave until 8am which still isn’t too bad considering. We had a coffee and muffin in the gas station and hit the interstate which we continued to ride on all day. The only alternative was the highway but it added on another 30miles and went way out of our direction. Between Gillette and Buffalo it is 70miles and there are no towns. It is our longest ride to date with nothing in between. This means we had packed our lunch and carried as much water as possible.
With a Southerly wind we were heading West all day and slightly South in the morning. We had our music on from the onset and plodded out the first 10 miles before a quick break then a further 10miles before another quick break. These breaks are on the roadside at junctions where we can sit on the floor more safely away from the traffic. Actually its not so bad riding on the interstate. There is more traffic than normal but nothing compared to home and our hard shoulder is clean for the most part and is so wide we practically have our own lane. When the trucks and massive campers pass us their drag pushes us along a bit which helps too!
Back on the road we did an 18mile stretch which was easier as it was mostly downhill and we caught our first glimpse of the Big Horn Mountains, they are huge and are snow capped which is really worrying as we are boiling which means they must be really high! We had a nice long break at a rest area and a sleep in the shade from the sun that today is in the mid 90’s! As we woke, a gentleman approached us to give us some electrolyte bars and some coke, thanks so much, you really helped us through the rest of the day!
As we left we climbed a rather large incline to the top of the ridge at the hottest part of the day and plodded another 20miles to a parking area on the roadside. We had nearly run out of water and we asked a guy for a refill and he kindly gave us two bottles of chilled fresh water we guzzled it down it tasted so good! Then as he drove off another car pulled up and Jeff and Kay offered us more water and some cookies. They also said a prayer for us and I hope it helps for me to climb the Big Horns tomorrow.
We made the final 10miles into Buffalo where we past some prairie dogs and again thought we deserved a motel. After asking about 10 different places we decided they are all too expensive. On the way to a campground we thought we would ask one last time in Big Horn Motel in Downtown where Trudy the receptionist was lovely and friendly and offered us a room for a discounted price and some free fudge so we snapped it up! A quick supermarket sweep and a nice relaxing night in. We got chatting to a bloke on a motorcycle out front and he suggested we buy a water filter from town before heading in the mountains so we can drink stream water which is a brilliant idea so we are off shopping in the morning before tackling the huge pass.