Isn’t it Supposed to Flatten Out?

We passed into the Central Time Zone today! As exciting as that landmark is, we’ve had a couple others that rival it. From Cody, WY to the capital of South Dakota, Pierre, we’ve made good time across this past section. We’re now six whole days ahead of schedule — which gives us a nice buffer should we need it for rest days or sightseeing later on. So, here’s a little glimpse into the past 10 days of our trip.

IMG_0811 James spots his first cactus — not an exciting moment unless you’d been hearing him complain about the lack thereof for days.

 

IMG_0868 We passed over the Bighorn Mountains via the Powder River Pass. Our biggest climb yet, we climbed virtually straight up for 5,460 feet before reaching an all-time high elevation of 9,666 feet! These incredible rock formations were scattered about, making the climb undoubtedly the most gorgeous.

 

IMG_0946 We took a rest day while staying with fantastic folks in Gillette, WY and were treated to a drive out to Devils Tower — which we would have missed otherwise! On the path around the base, we met Frank Sanders, a local climbing legend and part-time bicycle tourer himself. All in all, an entirely satisfying rest day!

 

IMG_0967 Biking home from our first (?!) steak dinner, we hit this spectacular sunset. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

 

IMG_1007 For as much food as we need to fuel these rides, it’s been getting kind of old. Everything in restaurants is more or less the same (which is why I was so excited for this taco salad!). Eating without a fridge is tough. We’ve eaten cold canned food for many lunches, especially since finding good grocery stores is tough in the sticks.

 

IMG_1103 Crazy Horse Memorial. Check it out if you get a chance — seriously, 100x better than Mt Rushmore! (This picture is from quite a distance, Mt Rushmore is insignificant compared to the planned completed size of Crazy Horse.)

 

IMG_1117 And Mt Rushmore. Hitched a ride to the top because of the windy road and tourist traffic. Relatively underwhelming, and we both felt crowded by the masses of people after days on the road.

 

IMG_1202 Hitting a bit of flat land, though we’ve been disappointed to find that ‘flat’ often includes lots of small hills. It’s pretty shocking to think that we’ve already passed over the toughest passes!

 

IMG_1214 No need to worry about South Dakota heat! It’s normally 100+ degrees through this stretch, but today we had a cool 55 in the early morning. With wind chill, it was enough to drive James into his sleeping bag while stopping for breakfast on the road.

 

IMG_1216 Pressing on from Pierre, we are about a week from Minneapolis! We pledged to find free camping for a week (paying $20+ for a piece of land each night becomes old quickly) and day six just passed successfully! Here’s to continued low temperatures in South Dakota!

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3 comments

  1. Love your pictures and comments! You two are truly awesome! You know, from the pictures of the Crazy Horse Monument I could guess about exactly where you were, have stopped at that spot ourselves to take a look. You weren’t all that far from where Grandma Crane grew up. Her family lived on a road out of Hill city called Reno Gulch Rd. So glad you have had cool weather instead of 100+ temps…was worried you might have had lots of really nasty weather though, since the weather stations were saying thunder and lighting storms about the time you were there. Good luck the rest of the way..Cindy tells me you will be soon entering areas where friends are on the look out for you! That will be welcome too I’m sure. Much love Auntie C.


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