The ride from Pinedale to Rawlins has been about long distances and an increased attention to water and where it will be.
Our stay in Pinedale was extended to allow me to get some metronidazole for my (presumed) giardia infection. Sarah pronounced me “sick” the night we got there and made me go to a doctor and have a day off. The doctor was as mystified as we were, but agreed to give us some antibiotics. We were proven right that night. The antibiotics seem to be doing the trick, but we wouldn’t recommend 90+km days across the desert in the early recovery phase. (Oh, those Colorado high passes, they force your hand – and a large stubborn streak in the sufferer). Enough said. I’m looking forward to a Thai meal tonight that I can taste, though it will be an alcohol free evening.
Since Pinedale our ad-hoc band has been supplemented by Dietrich, a Dutch 18 year old cycling his way around Nth America during a year before University. Sarah and I feel very old when he charges up hills in front of us with a heavily loaded bicycle and won’t take no for an answer. This is all done on a diet of 2-minute noodles and Smash (reconstituted dried potato)!
The open, empty desert with only ankle/shin high sagebrush for miles is a beautiful place. It has had us talking of the Kimberley, Pilbarra and other similar places in Australia.
Our water supplies have been the subject of much discussion within the group, and lots of questions asked of locals. Thankfully we’ve always carried too much, rather than needed more. The locals, in hindsight, weren’t as much help as we would have liked. We may have to rephrase the question next time to include “have you been there in the last couple of weeks”. In the end Sweetwater river had sweet water aplenty; the Diagnus well was just that with lots of water and the A&M reservoir had plenty of water in it at the end of the season. Everything else was dry as a crisp.
Our camp spots have been magical. Open spaces and stars in clear skies. Last night had grouse low-flying our tent heading for the reservoir and coyotes howling at the moon.
Less than magical has been some of the deeper sand. Water-loaded bikes make heavy going, slewing around frustratingly. Sarah has even decided that this is worse than a head-wind.
Tomorrow we head into the Sierra Madre and Colorado.