USA: Rawlins to Steamboat Springs

The day we left Rawlins started the same as the ones across the Wyoming Great Basin Desert. The tent was dry with no condensation or frost and the ever-present wind had already hit full force.

That frustrating, mind numbing wind slowed us down to the slowest we could still cycle. Lunch was is a ditch at the base of a climb out of the basin and Sarah rates as the worst stop on the route so far. Meanwhile storm clouds and rain were massing beyond the divide, waiting patiently for us. Oh, how nice. Getting over the divide didn’t reduce the wind, and the weather got on with its work. We only made it a few kms beyond before increasing cold, streaming rain and fading light forced a hasty camp in a “pointless down”. Overnight it rained, and rained and rained – and we stayed dry in our tent. We’d lost Katherine, but thought many times of her under a tarp.

Our wet campsite the following morning. We took the inner out to keep it dry for the first time - worked well.

The next morning was grey, windy, cold and depressing. The pointless downs and ups continued, with slow claggy ground from the overnight rain. However by mid-morning the day was brightening and we hit the Medicine Bow National Forest which kept the wind off and coincided with sunshine and Aspens in glorious autumn colours. It’s never good when you make your previous day’s target camp at lunch the following one… Aspen Alley was oddly ordered and civilised after the previous few days.

Aspen Alley

Since then, the weather’s been our friend. Glorious sunshine and even some tail wind. Entering Colorado and following the Slater river with more golden Aspens was beautiful. We were feeling so good that we even turned down an offer of a free cabin because it was 10km short of where we were trying to get to in order to make up for lost distance.

Yesterday, human kindness took over. After pushing and riding up Meaden Peak and a bone-jarring rattle down the far side we discover that the lower link between Sarah’s bike and the trailer body was broken. It may have been breaking for a while before, but we’d not noticed. Cable ties and hose-clamps to the rescue we unloaded the trailer onto my bike and limped down the smooth tarmac to Steamboat Springs thinking we were in for a multi-day stop-over to sort it out. In Clark we were puzzling over the trailer and a couple stopped to talk. They rang a local friend, and after a chain of phone calls on their mobile we’d arranged a welder in SS. Ted of Native Son Precision Welding even came up the highway to find us and guide us to his workshop. After M&Ms, salted nuts and only an hour Sarah has a repaired, reinforced trailer. We didn’t even lose any time. We felt truely blessed.

The break with jury rig

Now we’re having a slightly lazy morning in Steamboat Springs before pressing on south. It’s a stunning, golden autumn day.

The mend with reinforcing plate added

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