Friday, June 27
Walden to Saratoga, Wyoming
Though I fall I will rise;
"Is it only Friday? Is it already Friday?" That's what I wrote before taking off on the ride. It has been a long week. More fatigue accumulates during the hours of riding than can be abated before the next ride starts. But it does seem that we've gotten to the end of the week
Today is to be relatively flat ~ in the end we do a mere 2,104 feet of climbing. The ride is through increasingly big open spaces and includes the border crossing as we enter Wyoming. There is only one climb that qualifies as such, about 3 miles at 5 to 7%, the rest of the altitude gain coming from the ups and downs in the rolling high country. Saratoga is actually about 1,300 feet below Walden. It was an enjoyable ride. Except for the fall. Well, it wasn't much of a fall, but down I did go. I was coming up to the left turn off the highway at Riverside; the picnic stop was about a quarter of a mile down a gravel road. Looking ahead, I saw a truck approaching and I could see a car behind me in my mirror. Instead of trying to beat the truck or stop in the traffic lane, I pulled off into a parking lot on the right and started to swing around. It was a gravel lot. As I turned the wheel my bike quite suddenly assumed a not-rubber-side-down attitude. I was on the ground in a flash, my shoulder jarred, a big scrape on my elbow. I took inventory and found all the parts in place so got back on the bike and rolled in to lunch.
On the Road to Saratoga
But sometimes, it's not about the ride. Like today. Today it was about...BEEF! We are, after all, in cattle country and there were signs along the way reminding us of this fact. EAT BEEF! they declared in big, bold letters that practically double dog dared you to even thing about chicken. Once in town, we set off looking for the barbeque place that Bill remembered from a previous tour through here. It was, alas, no more. So we decided to take the advice of a couple I had talked to as we were setting up camp. They had been visiting the area for a few days and opined that the Hotel Wolf had THE best hamburgers. It was something we needed to check out for ourselves.
Oh my, what a hamburger! The Wolf buys blue ribbon beef at county fairs, markets, etc. and does their own butchering. They keep the trimmings from the steaks and roasts and grind all this for their hamburger. The meat is not frozen and only formed into a patty when you place your order at which time it is cooked just right. It was a hamburger for which you might ride 348.5 miles and climb 19,540 feet. Whoa! That's exactly how far I'd ridden and climbed during this tour. What a coincidence.
I'll have to say that I was tempted to ask for a California Tofu Burger at the Wolf. But as we were waiting at the table, I noticed a bumper sticker up on the wall. It read, "My guns have killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car." Here were people with an attitude. "I'll think I'll go with the cheeseburger, please."
2,104 feet of climbing