Location: Saratoga, WY (Saratoga Lake)
I didn’t sleep well last night because of the raucous from Interstate 80 traffic. The RV Park and campsite advertised that is was the quietest in town. I can’t compare it to other sites, but it wasn’t quiet by any definition of the word. The noise from the trucks and trains reverberated off the brick walls and gravel lot and made my ear plugs practically useless. Brian slept even more poorly than I did. He doesn’t have earplugs, so I’m sure the noise bothered him doubly.
We casually started moving today, weary from a restless night. I showered and skipped breakfast, opting for something sweet and fresh from the baker at the market on our way out of town. We picked up the usual groceries, Lipton’s pasta sides, Idahoan mashed potatoes, pretzels, breakfast bars, and a loaf of sourdough bread for me. I felt disgusting after two donuts and an apple turnover, and they made me feel like mush on the ride this morning.
Only a few miles out of town, the maps that we have been following led us to an interstate. A fifteen mile stretch of I-80 east was on our route. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I flipped the maps. I was under the impression that cycling on the federal highway was illegal. We had no choice though. We followed the directions on the map and turned onto the entrance ramp to the interstate. I wasn’t comfortable despite the wide shoulder. I felt we were doing something illegal, so I decided I would move as quickly as I could. The quick moving was made difficult by a strong headwind, but I pedaled and pedaled and pedaled. I thought I was caught for sure when I passed a highway patrol vehicle that had pulled three speeding cars, but I just kept moving. Soon but not soon enough, the fifteen miles were over and I exited the interstate at the exit for Wal-Mart.
We pushed through 20 miles of headwind on rolling Wyoming backcountry to finish today’s forty-two miles. We spent the afternoon in Saratoga. We grabbed a couple of Fat Tire drafts at a local bar. We had milkshakes at the soda shop, and we walked through all the touristy stores. I was really intrigued by some of the paintings I saw hanging. An urge has welled up inside me to purchase a memorable and lasting souvenir on this trip. I thought a nice paining might be the way to go, and now I’m thinking about a nice pair of properly fitting cowboy boots. I will think on it for a couple days, but I’d like to get something here in the mountains. I suspect I could always wait until North Carolina and purchase something from a local artist or craftsman. We will see what catches my eye over the next several states.
Brian and I camped on picnic tables around Saratoga Lake. We only did 42 miles today, but we have to keep the mileage low over the next few days because we are waiting for our packages from home to arrive in Frisco, Colorado. Tomorrow we leave the beautiful state of Wyoming and enter Colorado, meaning the end of our path through the Rocky Mountain range nears.