A beautiful start to the morning as we listened to the gurgling water feature outside the window at our Warmshowers's host lovely home! Not in a hurry to leave, we had such a nice time here! But leave, we must. Mike, the host was up and waiting for us and we did the photo session for their guest book and rolled out the driveway. First stop McD's for our favorite quick breakfast Egg McMuffin! Love it because it has to be a healthy one, what can you do to an egg, cheese and a muffin that would make it unhealthy? And coffee! Perfect! Not too much food, just enough to get us started.
Because I am catching up yesterdays journal i have to stop and think about exactly what the day was like! It was one of the best and fastest days we have had in ages! The wind was mostly behind us and we flew along! Had a climb over the Beaver Divide to Beaver Rim. It may have been a climb but the scenery was so beautiful! I have to stop frequently to take photos! I just can't help myself. The views are so vast, the horizon so overwhelming but i do what I can to get as much of the photo as possible, just know whey you look at them, there was even more out there!
Saw quite a few bikers today! 4 Going west. The first 2 were headed for our previous Warmshowers host! They were a busy household! Then 2 single guys Paulo from Italy and Wes from Oregon. Stopped and chatted to all 4, it makes the trip so interesting! While we were chatting to Wes, Jack came from behind going our direction! Jack was clad only in bicycle shorts, no shirt, no helmet, jandals only on his feet, an old 10 speed with haphazard packed panniers! Just shows you the strength of the human spirit, that was my first thought. Just decide what you want to do and DO IT!! I have always been a fan of not necessarily needing all the right clothing or gear to do what I love, but Jack took it to another level! And he left us way behind as he flew up the climb!! He did let us know his friend was somewhere behind as well.
We carried on up the climb, steady. that is the apparent good thing about elevation gains in Wyoming, they are long and gradual and not really a problem! And breathtaking! As you rise higher and higher it simply opens up the expanse of beauty you are leaving behind!
We got to the top and the road was long and relatively flat and the wind was wonderfully co-operative and pushing us from behind!! More road construction, but once again it worked in our favor as we could ride in the dead lane. Our one and only rest stop that offered shade and fresh water, Sweetwater Station was just in the middle of the construction zone, we pulled off and took some time for lunch. Sweetwater Station, The Oregon Trail runs nearby and there are many trails from this rest area that lead to places where the ruts from the wagons are still visitble.
The days are already warmer, how many days ago were we complaint of freezing cold rain and snow??
The rest of the afternoon passed quickly as the wind continued to push us towards our destination, Jeffrey City. It is 123 miles from Lander to Rawlins, with not much in the way of camping or places to stay unless you are a cyclist then you can rely on the community church for a bed for the night. We hear the stories, but it is still a mystery what to expect! Instructions are to check in at the bar!
So, we walk into the bar . . . Pretty quiet at 3:00pm in the afternoon in a town that boasts only 41 residents! Finally someone came in and we were going to enjoy a refreshment and perhaps some local chit chat, but he said "Oh I hope there is a bed left, there have been so many cyclists they might be running our of room!" Really??? Ok, we will go and claim our spot and come back.
We could see the church clearly in the not too far distance, but it was a sandy, almost hard packed road with plenty of ruts and the softer sand, but we got there! Walked into the back door, Jack and Wes had arrived before us, inside the back door was a huge gymnasium with a concrete floor! I of course thought, oh my, this doesn't look too comfortable!! But it was pretty awesome! Not the Best Western level of accomodation, but everything we needed including individual rooms and hot showers, kitchen with all the appliances and a very nice and chatty caretaker that came in and chatted with us all and shared the local information we thought we would get at the bar/cafe! Have no idea what the guy was talking about when he suggested there were so many cyclists there! It was way too much trouble to go back for a meal, so we made dinner at the church and had a great time getting to know Jack and Wes and our caretaker! Eventually Suzanna and Sinclair joined us from Scotland. We signed the wall like everyone else. It was a literary event to read all the signatures and messages that everyone has to leave on the wall and have been doing for years! The church has been providing this secure place to sleep for cyclists for nearly 25 years! As luck would have it, when we walked in a young mother and her son were there and Casey shared with us that she was raised in Jeffry City!! Her parents were teachers there during the years of the uranium mining and for a few years after the town started to die, she attended this church while she was growing up and we were sleeping in the room across from her Sunday school class!!. Casey said there were 28 children in the school and they had 5 teachers! She had brought her young son and husband back to show them her history. It was very interesting that we should happen to meet her here on her trip down memory lane! She really enjoyed sharing everything about childhood! She said her dad would come home with cyclists to stay with the family! How wonderful!
So that was our night in the ghost town of Jeffrey City! Certainly something to remember!